When you think about remarkable brands, which ones come to mind? There are a few that always seem to show up on the list: Disney, Apple, Harley Davidson, Starbucks. These brands are known for their superior customer service, attention to detail, longevity in their space, and raving fans. But how did they get that way? How did they go from an idea to becoming one of the most admired brands on the planet? Brands who deliver remarkable experiences do so because every member of their team, from the founder to the newest hire, understands their purpose.
In this article, we’ll cover how a sense of purpose is fundamental to building a strong brand from within.
Why understanding purpose is so important
While the idea of understanding purpose may seem pretty simple, most business owners will tell you that the more they grow, the harder it is to ensure employees understand their role in the company and the company’s role in their customers’ lives. It doesn’t matter if you are a 3 person show or a 200+ enterprise. Doing this is vital to meeting customer expectations and creating advocates of your brand, because even the best marketing out there can’t compete with customers who openly share their love of your brand with those around them. So how do you ensure customer experiences that spark advocacy?
It all starts with why. You’ve probably heard this before, but we can guarantee that you will hear it again, and again, and again! Because the brands that understand their why throughout their entire organization are the ones that we use as examples of success and the “right way” to do things. If you can get your entire organization to understand why your brand exists and why their role in its existence is crucial, you will be amazed at the impact it has on every aspect of your company!
How to ensure employees know their purpose
But, how do you do that? For starters, the why of your company should be discussed with your employees from their very first interview. It’s the foundation of why the company is in business, and it should be shared openly and frequently within the organization. When employees are on-boarded, the company’s why and the role that employee plays in delivering on that why should be a specific area of training, as that is vital to ensuring great customer experiences. When your employees understand how they support the larger mission of the company, they feel empowered to meet customer expectations and deliver on that mission. And when you really drill down to what makes a great customer experience, it all comes back to meeting their expectations and, whenever possible, exceeding those expectations.
What benefits are gained by understanding purpose
When employees know the why of their company, they have a foundational understanding of what their customers expect of them as a company representative. Take the why of Disneyland for example, “To create happiness for others.” Without knowing anything else about the organization, you know that their customers expect to be happy when they are at Disneyland because Disney has told them that’s why they’re in business. Disney has also told its employees that creating happiness is the purpose for the park and how their role within the park supports that purpose. So, their employees understand what their customers expect of them, and they feel empowered to deliver on that expectation.
When we talk about Disney and brands of that size, there’s always this feeling of “well of course they can do that, they’re a huge company with an endless budget.” But the fact of the matter is understanding your brand’s purpose doesn’t require a huge budget or countless hours of labor. It can be incorporated into onboarding practices, discussed regularly with team members, and should be regularly assessed to ensure your team continues to keep why you do what you do at the forefront of how they approach their work.
Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your team aligned on the company’s why and how each of their roles support that why. It might seem like something that can be put on the back burner, but the sooner you can incorporate purposeful training and more frequent conversations about your why the better. Your employees will be more engaged, your customers will have more enjoyable experiences, and your company will reap the rewards.