If you want to change your customers’ behavior, you have to change yourself first. It could be your product, your advertising or you personally that needs to be different in some way, but whatever it is, the first step on the long road to success is often change, and your whole brand needs to get behind it.
Many people think that success is all about what you do or what you have to offer. That is false. If this is how you think about what you do and say, that’s the first thing that needs to change. Everyone wants to sell products and services that fulfill a need. We all know what we do and sell. If you continue to focus on what you do or how you do it, you’re never going to get the results you’re looking for.
To really drive change and success, you need to find and share why you do what you do: your purpose. The cause you believe in that inspires you to get out of bed and go to work every day has the power to evoke emotional connections that your product alone cannot. If you touch on emotion and build relationships, the trust will come before the product, and customers will likely be drawn to your brand. The steps to purpose are simple, but they are not easy. It takes time and effort to uncover and wield your purpose to attract a loyal following. Here are the five phases of a purposeful plan:
1. Uncover your purpose.
Why do you do what you do? Ask yourself this question and take the time to think deeply about the true essence of your organization. Research purposeful companies and purposeful branding, but identify your own genuine reasons for your work. Online tools, programs or agencies can help you to clearly articulate your purpose.
2. Speak your inspiration.
Memorize your purpose. Just because it is true does not mean you know how to say it clearly by heart or that you’re comfortable talking about it, but you need to get there to get people’s attention. You have to train yourself to lead with purpose when introducing yourself to someone. Practice speaking from your purpose with friends and family, at home and in the workplace, until it feels natural. Train yourself to present yourself with why you do what you do, rather than what you do or how you do it. The follow-up questions you get will prove that purpose cultivates interest.
3. Align your company.
Align your whole life and business with your purpose. Share it with your team. Incorporate it into your company practices. Write it on your walls to serve as a reminder. Check if your employees are living up to it. Ask them out of the blue if they remember the purpose and how they’ve fulfilled it in the past week. You’ll start to notice how your purpose becomes a regular part of their routine, how they solve problems and interact with customers. Give positive feedback so that this behavior is encouraged and ask your customers purpose-oriented questions to see what you could be doing more of.
4. Amplify your reach.
Share your meaningful discovery with the world. Go over all of your marketing materials, such as your website, social media platforms and any templated communication to customers. Adjust these tools so that they reflect your meaningful purpose. Review your purpose statement and core values before and after creating any advertisement to assure that it aligns well. When speaking with customers, look for opportunities to reinforce your purpose statement. Everything you do and share should send a clear message to your customers of why you exist.
5. Listen for the echo.
Listen for the impact and measure the results. After you align every aspect of your business around your purpose and clearly share that purpose with the world, you should hear an echo, shouting your purpose back to you. Ideally, your employees and customers will repeat your purpose-infused words to you and each other. New employees who believe in your company will apply for positions looking for meaningful work. Prospective customers who align with you will reach out to you because of the meaningful things they hear.
Monitor your company’s growth as it becomes known for its purpose so you can continue to grow and repeat your results. The road to success is paved with purpose.