Why smart brands are adding meaningful metrics
We recently came across a Huffington Post article, “Meaning is the new money,” that posits the notion of the purpose-pivot. According to the author, Blanca Rothschild, the term is a combination of “pivot” (being capable of turning around fast based on new knowledge, from Eric Ries’s book “Lean Startup”), and “purpose” (working to an ambition that transcends the goal of making a profit). In summary, a purpose-pivot is an idea that is “applied in a multi-dimensional way across all stakeholders, and involves redesigning HOW we succeed to include metrics of happiness, well-being, community, and the environment. Where traditionally a business would often choose to pivot toward a financial goal, instead it would now base the pivot on alignment with its defined higher purpose, while still keeping in mind the bottom line.”
As such, a purpose pivot is about adding new metrics to your current, financially-based, measures of success. These metrics help you forge meaningful connections between what your business does, and what is important to the people it touches.
Nothing that matters is easy
Rothschild notes that a purpose-pivot, however important to future success, is not an easy move to make. She offers six wise pieces of advice for leaders considering such a change:
1. It takes courage.
It may feel like the biggest risk you have ever taken in business. Depending on the size of the business or your levels of attachment, it can feel like turning around the titanic. Or free-falling waiting for a parachute to open.
2. It takes grit and determination.
Get ready for a journey. You will be learning new ways of thinking, new language and will be testing emerging ideas in real time in your own business or career. This is commercial innovation in action – there’s no text book just yet.
3. Step into purposeful leadership.
What happens in a purpose pivot is that your vision becomes vital to getting your team on board, and you will need to lead and inspire your team in ways that share your authentic mission, vision, and purpose. This will be new to most leaders who have been used to leading with financial and quarterly goals at the fore.
4. It takes authenticity, humility and trust in yourself.
You may feel naked in your first meeting sharing your new ideas, but you will also feel exhilarated at the freedom and joy that comes with aligning to a higher purpose, and seeing the purpose ignite your team.
5. You need to be married to your purpose.
You must be committed, really and completely, to the purpose and the pivot. There is no turning back. You may be tempted by shiny gold nuggets and easy wins that will steer you off track, but you need to stay committed.
6. Forget about work-life balance.
Integration is your new mantra. You are now actively seeking ways to bring energy and creativity to everything you do in work and play, so you don’t have to wait until you retire, or the weekend, before you have a joyful and meaningful life.
Making a purpose-pivot through brand strategy
When considering the idea of a purpose-pivot, a natural starting point and delivery vehicle is your brand strategy. When your brand strategy is built upon a platform of empathy, purpose, and emotion, it will integrate the idea of purpose-beyond-profit into your brand. When it includes ideas on workplace behavior, it shows you how to evolve your products, processes, policies, and procedures in ways that create the meaningful connections your purpose enables.
React to new knowledge: the traditional financially-led strategies are giving way to purpose-led strategies. To thrive in the future: it’s time to pivot with purpose.
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Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.