Created on December 5, 2016
by Rod Anderson, President, Sandbox Brand Marketing What does this mean and why is it important to people and companies?
At some stage in our lives most of us probably ponder just what the hell we were put here to do, or at the very least, why are we doing what we do and what it is we like about what we are doing.
While I am not a philosopher, probably far from it, I do feel we have a purpose while we’re here. That being said, some of us go through life never really knowing why we are here or figuring out what we are truly great at. I believe those that figure the answers to these questions out early on in life, are the ones that are able to deliver significant impact to the world and those around them.
I believe the same is true for companies and leaders of those companies. Some companies start out with this understanding of goals and their core purpose is clearly identified and communicated to all. Other companies scale without a clear identification of their core purpose and they can sometimes grow to be very good companies, but fail to ever reach the type of impact they could have had, if they had done the heavy lifting to determine what their company’s true purpose is.
The Zappos core purpose is to be the “online service leader”. By focusing on being the online service leader as their purpose and differentiator, they are able to make significant growth decisions like partnering with Amazon, and moving beyond selling shoes into other categories of goods like watches and eyewear. An identified purpose allows for these decisions to be made more easily if they align and support the purpose you have set out to fulfill.
Once a company understands its core purpose, formalizes it into a statement, communicates it to its team, and allows the team to embrace and own the purpose, all decisions start to become easier to make. A core purpose also allows the company to develop and define a clear vision. It is powerful to work in a company that has a clear purpose that drives the business and it’s decisions. From a customer and brand perspective it is easy to see and understand what makes that company different, be it in a hyper competitive market like Procter and Gamble and the consumer packaged good world, or Apple in the technology sector. Customers know what these companies stand for and the brands they develop are all driven by a customer focused core purpose.Does every person or company have a purpose?
I find that many companies are “me-too” types of companies, created and built to compete in an industry and provide a living for its owners and employees while servicing customers in whatever it is they do. These companies are modeled after others already in the sector with no real intention of being significantly different in the market, or to deliver significant change or impact in the world.
Then there are those companies and brands we meet with that have been built with a purpose by a visionary, but they have never been able to, or have yet to try to uncover what it is that really drives them and their cultures everyday. These companies do have a magic that exists inside but require a little help defining what their purpose is. These businesses are designed to have significant growth and impact if they can align to an authentic purpose and start making more decisions based on that purpose.
Maybe the same can be said for people. Those that figure out their purpose or feel they have one seem to go through life finding it easy to get involved with the things they are driven by, while not being distracted by things that they are not. They have a flow in how they approach their lives and careers and seem effortless in work. They are happier than most and deliver impact in whatever they care about. They are typically very interesting and energizing to be around and know.So what about Sandbox?
We have invested time to understand what it is that we are good at and what it is that we love to do: our purpose. The statement that best captured why we are here is “To Reveal True Greatness”. This statement stands true for our team and our ecosystem partners, as well as for the clients and brands we are honoured to serve.
The statement has special impact to us in that “revealing” has two meanings:
- to uncover through a deep dive an understanding what it is that makes a leader, company, and brand authentically different and great.
- to help tie this greatness into a meaningful message that can be communicated internally and externally in a way that creates impact for all of our clients.