Retail Observer

December 2019

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM DECEMBER 2019 44 "WHY S HOU LD OU R 'B RAN D PU R POS E' MATTE R TO ANYON E I N S I DE OR OUTS I DE OU R ORGAN IZATION?" I was a little surprised when a client company's CEO asked this question during an informal conversation. My mistake was assuming that by now most business leaders would understand the value of a clearly defined and focused purpose. Many business leaders still expect their people to understand their passion automatically, especially if they're the founders/ entrepreneurs. They imagine that the staff and customers will "get it" because it's obvious to them. Your passion may run deep, but that doesn't mean that others will automatically catch the bug. The personal passion that drives you may carry a lot of magnetism and be contagious to your immediate circle, if it's real. But if you want it to spread to your team and your customers, you'll need to make a deliberate effort to ensure it does so. A well-defined and activated "why" can become a real force for change in your company and beyond – if it gets your team members operating above and beyond just grinding out a paycheck. If you can define the "why" and encase it in solid, persuasive words and find ways to activate it throughout the organization, its impact will be exponentially enlarged. In plain words, it's not all that difficult to turn your individual purpose into a unique "brand purpose" that will sell your brand far beyond your company's C-suite. WHAT IS A "BRAND PURPOSE"? A Brand Purpose isn't just one of those catchy, ornamental marketing terms that everybody knows and that are mostly reserved for big companies like Apple, Nike, Amazon, and Google. Nor is it a navel-gazing meditation for slogan-happy new-age incense makers. Your Brand Purpose, properly defined and activated, will give your customers a real reason to buy from you instead of your competitors. A well-crafted Brand Purpose tells them why your business exists, beyond the need to make a profit. It expresses the higher purpose that brings your team to work every day, excited to go above and beyond to create exceptional value for the customers. Your brand purpose aligns your team and leadership and ignites a focus on what really matters to your business. WHY "WHY" MATTERS In a now-famous TEDx talk, Simon Sinek popularized a concept that goes back to the ancient Greeks. Sinek talked about the Greek term eudaimonia, which means "a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous." It's a useful concept for understanding the importance of "Why." Here's the premise: You need to know why you're in business– the happy spiritual aura of your business that makes you want to come to work each day. And then you need to share that understanding with the world. Your customers must be so magnetized by your why that they will feel compelled to buy into your brand. Your Brand Purpose is your reason for being, and it needs to hold a powerful appeal, because today's customers are more eager than ever to buy into your happy why, as much as your what. In other words, no one really cares about your "authentic pastries, sourced from the freshest organic ingredients," because everybody's saying essentially the same thing. It's telling them the what and the how, but not the why. Nowadays, your customers can buy pastries with exactly those ingredients at most local farmer's markets, or get them for less in the products sitting next to yours on the shelf. What they do care about is how your why drives the real value of your products. And this is true for all products and services, not just pastries. By formalizing the passion of the founders, owners, and leaders, the why brings the brand purpose out of the leaders' heads and hearts and makes it clear to everybody. If it's clear to your team, and if they can bring it to life, your customers will get it and feel it, too. What started as a personal passion can become a set of magnetic decision-making principles that will transform your culture and the experience you're offering your customers. Steven Morris On Brand WHY BRAND PURPOSE MATTERS

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