How to find purpose for you and your brand

Laura McLachlan, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Worldwide Cancer Research
Purpose: often spoken about – rarely understood or met. Laura share hers, and the brand of her company, and how you can find your own.

Purpose is all bull, right?

Let’s speak to the elephant in the room – there are some loud voices in the industry speaking out against the concept of brand purpose. Laura started by sharing that brand purpose = brand positioning. Removing the term from the b******t. Laura speaks about this as she wants the team to get sick about hearing the messages they put out into the world.

Your purpose doesn’t have to be the company purpose

Laura dipped into quoting the Queen of Country, Dolly Parton, with ‘Find out who you are and do it on purpose’. The implication here was for Laura, while her role certainly ties into her purpose, on an individual level, she also has other things that drive her. The message here is that’s okay as you can find ways to live your purpose even if the company’s purpose isn’t exactly the same!

Values testing

Ways to help find out about the things that are important about yourself is to try things such as the and the . Laura recommended both.

Why, who, what and how

So many people speak about purpose as just the ‘why’. Laura prefers to think of it as ‘the means bu which you make a positive impact in the world’ – therefore grounding it not just in a concept, but also in doing. This moves purpose towards a place of action rather than virtue signalling. That feels good!

How do you find your own purpose?

    1. You’re a world leading expert in yourself. Only you know the truth behind what drives you and what doesn’t. Fundamentally – be honest with yourself!
    2. The person you think of as yourself exists only in you. Seek out feedback on what other people hear from you. However, one tip here, cultivate a ‘square squad’ (basically a list on a post it note of people you really value the opinion of) – to make sure that the feedback you’re getting from people is from people you really value.
    3. You should work for a cause, not for applause. What would you do even if you didn’t get paid? Can you release yourself from needing credit?

How to avoid purpose pitfalls.

Purpose in 2021 is a bit of a buzzword – that’s because purpose marketing sees people jump on the purpose bandwagon. There are some common purpose pitfalls.

    1. The overreach. A car wash claiming to cleanse the spirit of humankind etc etc etc. Overreachers overstate the importance of their thing in the lives of their customers or the impact they can have. Aim high, of course, but also be realistic of what is ‘within your gift’ to offer to the world.
    2. The purpose shower. Companies who realise there is money to be made from purpose, and therefore spray it all over their offerings inauthentically.
    3. The shoehorn. Finding any opportunity to shoehorn purpose into everything. Think Kendall Jenner and Pepsi.