What is your Noble Purpose?
Your noble purpose is a complex concept, but one that can best be defined simply as how you create unique personal experiences for your employees and your customers. At its core, Noble Purpose implores us to express what is most true about the company and ourselves. Noble purpose:
- Has a higher purpose, over profit,
- Inspires trust, confidence, and respect,
- Is relevant to the new norms and new realities,
- And is truly unique.
It’s no secret consumers are drawn to brands that are led by a greater purpose, that is beyond profits. They deeply desire trust, confidence, surprise, joy, and admiration.
My Noble Purpose Inspiration: Maria
Our senior advisor, John Torella shares an inspirational story on noble purpose.
“Years ago, I noticed a new coffee shop open in my neighbourhood. I decided to go in and was instantly greeted by Maria, the shop owner, who introduced herself and asked my name. I said, “My name is John” and ordered an americano. It was a positive, but normal experience. When I returned a few days later, I was greeted with “Hi John, let me get you your americano.” The experience was getting better and better. I then went out of town for a couple of months, and then when I finally returned she said “John, where have you been? You look tired, you need a muffin with your americano.” Now, how did she know I needed a muffin before I even did? She had built a relationship with me, and she had a noble purpose. Her purpose was to put a smile on every customer’s face.”
Where to Start
To find your noble purpose, you first need to revisit your backstory, your founder, your history and your overall “why.” This ensures that your noble purpose is genuine and directly related to your history.
Next, you need to identify the ethos, spirit, values, and beliefs of the brand. This is how you will be expanding beyond you as a person and translating your purpose into the business.
Once you have achieved the previous steps, you then evaluate your non-negotiables. These are the values and beliefs that you have as a brand that you will never waver from – no matter the circumstance.
Finally, you need to listen to your inner voice. This step will help you to develop the pillars that will act as your north star for daily decisions and actions.
Purpose Drives Profits
The main goal of developing a noble purpose it to value your purpose over your profits. The research and data speak for themselves, brands who value their purpose over profits:
- Outperform the market,
- Gain greater market share,
- Have faster growth than their competition.
The following is a sample of retailers and brands that have identified their Noble Purpose, and whose valuing purpose over profits has clearly benefitted.
In his book, Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella described Microsoft’s refocus around a new Noble Purpose…
“From a company of know-it-all mindset, to learn it all mindset.”
This became the catalyst for accelerated revenue growth between 2014 and 2020 from $86.8 billion to $143 billion. It acted as a magnet for holding and gaining new talent and as an anchor that sustains the organization in the best/worst of times.
As Canadian Tire celebrates its 100th birthday, it embarked on its noble purpose journey…
“To make life in Canada better.”
Susan O’Brien, Chief Brand and Customer Officer of CTC, has spoken on a year long series of sessions with all stakeholders to gain acceptance and support for this new cause. She focuses on the how the thousands of employees feel a sense of belonging being connected to something greater than themselves. A true North Star for the next 100 years.
Ron Wilson, President of Best Buy Canada, is a unique example of how a company’s Noble Purpose can start with employees and then move on to other stakeholders. He talks about …
“You have to love it work here” and the Noble Purpose of enriching lives through technology.
To learn more about your Noble Purpose, join us for a live discussion on August 24, 2022 @ 12:00 EDT.