There are a million and one reasons why cultivating brand purpose should be a priority for any business and, in light of the current COVID pandemic, here’s one more (with 4 inspiring examples to back us up).
Because a true purpose is the overarching, guiding force behind everything a company does, it’s the contingency plan you didn’t know you needed for the disruptions you didn’t see coming. Purpose is something more than revenue growth or demand gen, it’s tied to how a company can help the world be a better place. At Renegade, we tend to split purpose into two categories: Big-P and little-p. Big-P purpose involves a universal aspect of social good, while little-p purpose is about what a product or service does beyond mere functionality—it may be a bit less altruistic but still gives the organization meaning.
In both cases, these two “p’s” know which direction to go when it comes to responding to the current crisis. Purpose-driven companies put purpose over profit, making decisions out of a sense of goodwill that could yield some profit rather than taking advantage of a situation.
Why is this important? Well, apart from it being the right thing to do, our B2B Brand Strategy Guide will tell you that “employees are more engaged and customers are more loyal. And prospects notice.” That’s because those companies that base their actions around a clearly defined purpose will emerge from this crisis with a reputation for great leadership, reliability, and compassion—and that’s something you can’t ever buy.
Below, we examine four B2B companies that already had purpose-driven story statements (powerful phrases of 8 words or less) before the COVID crisis began, and we look at how they have both defined and driven each company’s COVID response.
You can’t really get any more big-P than Deloitte’s “make an impact that matters.” As a company that provides a broad range of professional consulting services across the globe, they’ve built a culture that trains each one of their consultants on critical skills like empathy, storytelling, and leadership, so that they can impact their clients and, in turn, their clients can impact the world. Much of what they teach prepares businesses for economic changes, and if you visit the Deloitte website, there is already a wealth of material directly related to COVID-specific challenges, from income tax guides to response and recovery tips to economic forecasts. They also continue to equip their clients with tactics to enable resilience and agility. If anything, this is Deloitte’s opportunity to show how it’s always been their mission to build up the muscles of their clients so that they are capable of influencing great change. Listen in to our interview with CMO Diana O’Brien on how they defined purpose to consolidate and focus their business efforts, here.
This paper company chose their little-p statement, “On the Case,” not just because it’s a great pun (paper is typically delivered by the case, in case you were wondering) but also because they’re committed to being there for their customers, always ready to go above and beyond to ensure they are getting the best service possible. That’s why Case Paper’s five production facilities are still fully operational, supplying thousands of printing and packaging companies that are manufacturing and delivering mission-critical supplies and services across the U.S. If that’s not “on the case” enough for you, they’ve also established a comprehensive set of new safety protocols in an effort to ensure the safety of their employees. You can hear more about how Case Paper developed their purpose-driven story statement in our interview with CMO Simon Schaffer-Goldman, here.
As essential construction projects continue around the world, Command Alkon’s hybrid big-P, little-p “Together we build amazing” is alive and well. Their platform is designed to connect heavy construction suppliers digitally, making it the ideal collaboration tool in a socially distanced world. In an effort to completely eliminate paper handling and reduce person-to-person contact on the job, Command Alkon is offering eTicketing capabilities at no charge, allowing customers to rapidly scale and move material data to the cloud. This allows for the “together” that Command Alkon so strongly believes in, connecting the supply chain in a safe way so that that amazing projects that make up much of our infrastructure don’t have to stop. CMO Ed Rusch was behind the initial brand transformation for Command Alkon, you can listen to his interview about how they got there, here.
White Ops’ cybersecurity company is the global leader in bot mitigation, protecting businesses from online threats with their big-P, little-p battle cry: “Keep it Human.” This purpose statement differentiates White Ops from many of their competitors, as they focus on a positive goal rather than selling through fear, and their cause continues as businesses move remote. Keeping things human is business as usual for White Ops, they’ve reported significant speed slowdowns due to internet traffic increases, and as bot-or-not assessments have risen 10% in the recent weeks, they continue to investigate and eliminate the bad actors attempting to take advantage of the current situation. You can learn more about how they developed their battle cry and cultivated customer champions in our interview with CMO Dan Lowden, here.