The power of purpose can make all the difference in attracting and retaining top talent. Companies like Apple, Google and Airbnb know this very well. In today’s episode, we’ll find out how to uncover and articulate a purpose that could improve your employer brand.
This week we sit down with Markus Kramer. He advises Boards, Executives and Operational Teams on all aspects of strategic positioning, growth and brand management. The brands Markus has worked with include Harley-Davidson, Aston Martin, Luxury Goods, Financial Services Firms, Technology brands, NOGs, startups and many more.
Markus is Visiting Professor in Strategic Brand Management at Cass Business School London and holds degrees from the University of California, Oxford, MIT and speaks regularly at select conferences and business schools around the world.
Have a listen to the interview below, keep reading for a summary and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast
In a nutshell, purpose is the next competitive frontier to engage in. If we look back over history, from army leadership to Henry Ford’s leadership in the industrial revolution, a lot of our purpose was centered on our leadership. Over time though, this has tipped over from leadership to strategy. With the increasing complexity that we face now, mainly driven by technology, we’ve realized that leadership and strategy aren’t enough. So that’s where purpose comes in. Understanding what purpose really is, how we articulate it and how we can benefit from as organizations and individuals. Purpose is really what makes the difference. Over the last 5 years, we have observed purpose and we’re only starting to see the value of purpose coming into the world’s biggest companies.
On a simple level, purpose is sometimes hard to articulate. If you ask an organization ‘why are you here?’, they really struggle. The framework I’ve developed starts with:
A purpose should be sharp. It should be short, maybe 5 word or less. People should be able to understand and articulate why they are at the company within their own context.
To answer this you need to understand how your business works. If you have a hierarchically structured business, the purpose should come from the top. But ultimately, purpose is carried by everyone. But it needs to stop at the top so that you can embed it into such a large organization effectively. If you work in a startup, which is decentralized in its nature, the purpose doesn’t need to be owned by the CEO. It can start with anyone. From an employer branding perspective, I love it when marketers and HR connect to building a very integrated view of what your purpose should be.
So to start. It should be 5 words or less, it should resonate with what you do, it should be contextualized and people need to understand the deeper values of the brand.
Here are some good examples:
A good purpose statement always starts with an active verb. I think yours is good because:
Yes. I use 5 metrics:
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