According to Aaron Hurst, we’ve moved from the Information Economy to the Purpose Economy. He states that this is a natural evolution, which is taking us from the first levels of human organization, the hoe-and-plow Agrarian Economy, through the smokestacks of the Industrial Economy, to the data farms of the Information Economy, and now to the human-centric Purpose Economy. Each of these economies been built on top of the proceeding, and represent evolutions more than revolutions.
In his book, Hurst states:
“When I say purpose, I mean more than serving others and the planet. Service is certainly at the core, but in speaking with hundreds of professionals and reading thousands of essays, I’ve discovered that there are two other key sources of purpose people seek: a sense of community and the opportunity for self-expression and personal growth. In other words, they pursue personal, social, and societal purpose.”
The resulting challenge for businesses and brands is to find their place within this quest for meaning and purpose. This new and higher-order of connection can be made at many levels within an organization. It can, for example, revolve around the core offering of the brand – how its products and services directly add to individual and collective well-being. Or, it may revolve around the brand’s actions in the realm of corporate responsibility. Indeed, a brand’s purpose may be centered in the shared values, attitudes, and behavior of its management and employees.
Often leadership is preoccupied with performance, and therefore can fail to recognize the good and meaningful aspects of their brands. However, if they are helped to stand outside their immediate world, leaders are able to recognize, appreciate and seize the meaning that already resides in their brand.
Through a smartly planned brand strategy, one that builds upon empathy, purpose, and emotion, they are able to bring these virtues to life in new ways. The first task is to explore the ways your brand already helps people in their pursuit of personal, social, or societal purpose. Next, build upon your brand’s inherent goodness, and create new meaning by finding new ways of either combining the meaningful aspects of your business, or by using the existing meaning to inspire new actions that expand the meaningful platform of your brand.
Is it time for your brand to embrace The Purpose Economy? Consider this: think of all the companies that were slow to adopt the central principles of the Information Economy. How many can you remember? How many were leapfrogged by forward-thinking brands? How many still exist?
Don’t get left behind. Rethink your brand strategy in light of the Purpose Economy and thrive. Transform your business. Transform your brand.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.