Purpose Economy: Rethinking Branding in The B2B World
Business-as-usual is no longer that. The metrics of sales and marketing, cost analysis, and stiff pencil pushing senior leaders are all changing. We are transitioning out of the Information Economy and into the Purpose Economy. Because of this shift in culture, businesses have to rethink their brand, even in business to business (B2B) transactions.
Inclusion, sustainability, community shared value, environmental friendliness and the overarching theme of doing good for the world is a driving factor behind the Purpose Economy. The brands that understand this will win.
Emotional connectivity does not mean everything your brand does has to be 'touchy feely', but embracing the human innate needs that Abraham Maslow talked about in 1943 will help align your brand in every function of the business. Emotional connection helps in the B2B realm by focusing on deep rational thinking, but evolving how integration and transactions take place.
People long to be a part of something greater than ourselves. We also want to feel included. Leading with purpose will allow for more empathy which will help connect to people. This will help you better understand how your brand is perceived by stakeholders, competition, and potential clients or end users.
Sales and marketing tactics will shift the way people perceive the brand. Product development will be better in-tuned with the needs of your end users, helping you create a superior product or service. Leading with purpose will focus employees to pursue the same ambition because they believe in the cause.
If your employees truly believe that what their company is offering and doing has purpose, they will believe that their individual role has purpose for the greater good---leading to them becoming your greatest champions. This will impact your internal teams camaraderie, how your sales department conveys the brand, and attract top talent to the company.
Customers, business leads, and strategic alliance partners all have access to this thing called the internet. People today tend to research products and companies before doing business with them. Purpose driven brands tend to positively influence consumer purchase intent. The group with the greatest influence on this idea of Purpose Economy is Millennials.
My generation is trading conventional jobs to start tech companies that improve social and economic conditions in developing countries. We are willing to take pay cuts to work for start-up companies that are ambitious with lofty ideals to change the world. We are eating less fast food and focusing more on health and supporting brands with sustainability and environment within their mission statement. The common theme amongst all of these changes is purpose.
The Information Economy has driven innovation and economic growth, but it is the Purpose Economy that will propel the growth for the future. It's value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers and helping them serve the needs greater than their own. This enables them to find personal growth, fulfillment, and community building. By reframing how your business is adding value to the world--- it too can lead with purpose, grow profit margins, and do good for the community.