Putting purpose first in an organization leads to increased profits. It is just that simple, so let us get right to it. Here are three distinct reasons why:
Purpose Increases Trust = more willingness to buy & work
Trust is at the core of capitalism. Without trust, transactions do not take place. And when transactions do not take place, people do not have opportunities to exchange value with one another to fulfill each other’s needs. A profound example of the importance of trust in business is Amazon. The Amazon online marketplace empowered all people in the world — regardless of nationality, race, gender or religion — to buy and sell goods to each other. The trust in the brand’s “why” of putting the customer first and the proof of that belief brought to life in the seller rating system created space for a confident buying experience. Before platforms like Amazon, it was considered a risk to buy goods from a random seller in a far away country. Now, we do it every day.
The most effective way to build trust between an organization and its customers is to set the intention behind why the company exists. When customers know the intentions, they will know what motivates the company beyond just profit. And when customers know your motives, they are less likely to create stories of bad intentions and assume the worst about why you sell them stuff. When our purpose is clear, space is created for a trusting relationship. To solidify this bond between brand and customer, the next step is to prove your purpose with your products. The more the purpose is affirmed in every part of the customer experience, the more trust will be built and the more transactions will be made. You want your “why” to prove your “what.”
Purpose Increases Impact = more perceived value of brand & product
We can focus on being different from the competition, or we can focus on creating difference for our customers. Choosing the latter creates an intention to transform the lives of our customers instead of an intention to simply persuade them to buy what we sell. Creating products and experiences that transform our customers increases our positive impact on them, and the world gets a little bit better. This transformative intention is the core of purpose. Products and customer service experiences that align with purpose become more and more valuable to customers. Benefits of this value include willingness to pay more, increased brand loyalty and advocacy.
Purpose Increases Motivation = more productivity in work
The beauty of a company purpose that doubles down on transforming the lives of customers is its effect on employees. When employees feel like they are contributing to a purpose that is truly serving others with pure intentions, they experience meaning in their work. When this happens, every small, daily task feels like it is a small part of a bigger movement. This feeling empowers employees at every level of the company to experience real-time fulfillment. That means, instead of waiting until the weekend or their next paycheck to receive a jolt of motivation, they get it every day. Increasing fulfillment leads to increasing motivation to fight through the daily grind of a tough job. The company’s purpose serves as the intrinsic motivator for each employee to want to produce quality products and give customers inspiring experiences. Simply put, purpose inspires and empowers a company’s workforce to positively impact themselves, each other, the customers and the community. Centering a company around one common “why” that serves others is truly the ultimate winning experience for all stakeholders.
All in all, injecting purpose into every single aspect of an organization creates one profound culture of meaning. When you can inspire employees to show up for themselves, empower customers to buy with loyalty, leave a lasting impact on the community and increase profit by doing so, you will win every single time. What organization would not want all that?
Thomas Waterman is the co-founder of Purpose Pioneers. He believes that when we find meaning in our work, we experience real-time fulfillment. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and @purposepioneers on the socials.