There is no doubt that purpose will be more important than ever having been hit by unprecedented change this year. Not just brand purpose. Not just a purpose created by the marketing department. But rather enterprise-wide purpose that guides an organization and gets translated into the marketing for its brands, that appeals to and attracts talent at all levels, and that ladders up to how the organization behaves in its actions and reactions.
The marketing community has been talking about purpose for some time now and putting it to good use. Of course the definition of purpose varies considerably — from a simple idea of social responsibility to cause-related activism and environmental sustainability. A good rule of thumb is Jim Collins’ and Jerry Porras’ definition of purpose from their book Built to Last: “Purpose is the set of fundamental reasons for a company’s existence beyond just making money”.