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firms of endearment

The difference between brand promise and brand purpose – and how together, they drive spectacular business returns.

We’re all familiar with brand promise right? Our brand promise is the benefit we promise our customers when they purchase our brand. But what about purpose?  And how are they different?

Put concisely, your purpose works on the inside of your brand.  It goes beyond your brand promise to encapsulate the greater impact your entire business has upon the full community of stakeholders whose lives are touched by your business every day. It’s your stated intent from Chief Executive down to have a markedly positive impact on your wider stakeholder community. A lasting beneficial effect that radiates outwards beyond the literal needs satisfied by your branded product or service. And most importantly, it’s what brings your team – your entire employee group – to work each day, motivated and empowered to throw their energies, skills and passions into their work. Your purpose is critical to sustaining the focus and momentum necessary to succeed in today’s transparent, fiercely competitive business environment.

But embedding a powerful Critical Purpose within your business does more much more than this. It unites your workforce behind a common cause and creates a tribe effect.   When your entire team is aligned behind your Critical Purpose, including an explicit understanding how each and every role - from forklift driver to chief technology officer - can contribute their specialist skills, people work better together. Delegation becomes easier.  It’s easier to build a culture of co-operation between individuals and teams.  Innovation – the holy grail of modern business survival – flows. Suddenly you find the best talent in the marketplace banging on your door. Engagement between employees and your business – how your entire operation combines to deliver upon your brand promise – deepens significantly. And unsurprisingly, your bottom line performance outstrips your rivals. Why? Because you’ve aligned your tribe to something they care about deeply. A Critical Purpose that inspires and describes how you’re changing the world for the better.

And nowhere is this effect outlined more clearly than in Raj Sisodia’s book ‘Firms of Endearment’. ‘Firms of Endearment’ is the phrase Raj coins to describe businesses with a greater critical purpose.  Companies whose entire workforces from C-suite to assembly line are aligned behind a single-minded intent to make the world a better place in small and not-so-small ways.

In the book, Sisodia describes how US-based firms of endearment outperform the Standard & Poors index of the US stock market’s top performing 500 businesses by 14 times over a 15-year period.  Closer to home, companies like Air New Zealand, Icebreaker and Vend are growing commercially and renowned as the best places to work.

At Tickled Pink, we’re passionate about business for good. We’ll help you discover your Critical Purpose, then align your entire operation through a culture that empowers everybody to know they’re making a worthwhile difference.




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