If you missed our exciting news last month, Franklin Rae recently acquired media and marketing sector specialist, The Media Foundry (TMF). To celebrate, we’re excited to introduce you to Lisa Williams, Client Services Director at TMF as she discusses how purpose can play a role in transforming a brand.
Purpose. It’s one of those topics that I’ve been to numerous events on and read reams about since day one of my PR career. It’s something that almost every brand/business we work with is keen to define – especially to attract the millennials, who we are constantly reminded will only work with companies that have a solid, higher purpose beyond making profit. However, putting aside for now the fact that all consumers will ultimately think brands are out to make money, I can’t help but think that many brands are missing the point when it comes to purpose.
As Russell Parsons eloquently put it in his Stop mistaking purpose for differentiation article, when most people are asked to define purpose, their response is typically closer to a description of differentiation. In this context Parsons argues “if you can credibly differentiate because of practices that add value to society, fine; otherwise find another point of difference that sets you apart and makes you appreciated – don’t go searching for one”. After over a decade working with brands and agencies within the media and marketing world, I heartily agree with him.
For me, purpose is all about how you can – and do – add value to customers’ lives. It shouldn’t just be some lofty – and often empty – statement that is bandied around or painted on walls. Purpose needs to be ingrained into the everyday and should inform every decision and action made by the team. Of course, this can’t happen overnight. However, having been fortunate enough to work with the marketing team at Direct Line Group over the past three years, I’ve seen first-hand how purpose can play a role in transforming a brand and its propositions, delivering revenue growth through successful innovation.
So why my focus on purpose today? What’s the point?
One month on since TMF was acquired by Franklin Rae, we’re taking a closer look at how we differ from our competitors and the additional value we offer (according to my definition, our purpose). Having a similar ethos and shared ambitions is a great starting point, but we know that to reap the benefits of coming together we need to ensure that our purpose / value is apparent throughout our services and company culture each and every day. And who knows, we may end up with a rallying cry like Star Trek’s “to boldly go where no one has gone before” – which Giles Lury understandably pulls out as a great example of brand purpose in his book The Marketing Complex.