What is a purpose statement?

Your purpose statement answers the question ‘why do we exist?’

It is the deeper reason why you created or took over the brand/business – that goes beyond revenue, profit or success. It’s the big idea that underpins and drives everything you (and your team) does.

It explains what drives you (and your team) deep down to do the work you do – inspiring you to get through the challenging times. It’s heartfelt and genuine – and it springs from your beliefs and values.

“By ‘why,’ I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?”
– Simon Sinek

Why a purpose statement is important?

Your purpose statement is important because it ensures you (and your broader team) are crystal clear about why you have created your brand – and to ensure that everything you produce, do, or say to support that brand (products, services, marketing communications etc) aligns with that purpose.

Your purpose is like the foundation of a house – if it is solid, the house is strong. If it is weak, the house is unstable and could collapse.

Examples of purpose statements:

“We’re in business to save our home planet”
– Patagonia

“We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.”
– Uber

“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport.”
– Tesla

“To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.” – Apple (under Steve Jobs)

“To embrace the human spirit and let it fly.”
–Virgin Atlantic

“Spread ideas.”
– TED

“To make people happy”
– Disney

“A just world without poverty.”
– Oxfam

“A world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
– Alzheimer’s Association

It can be challenging as a small business owner to take time out of your busy schedule to review your purpose statement, however, re-connecting with your cause will give you renewed inspiration. As well as once you can document your statement in black and white, when you have clarity, your staff will have clarity, your suppliers will have clarity and most importantly, your customers will have clarity.

Customers connect with brands that have meaning over the long term. Your investment of time in crystallizing your purpose will lay your foundations for long term growth – with customers that want an authentic relationship with you into the future.