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Stop with the WHY

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It’s currently very fashionable to say that businesses need a PURPOSE or a WHY. In this VLOG Grant explains that for it to work, a business needs two characteristics…

Let’s be honest, most of us are not in businesses where we are going to be able to create social justice, heal the world, or prevent the spread of incurable disease.

For the last few years, it’s been very fashionable to say that businesses need a PURPOSE or a WHY – which is true – but for it to work, it has to have two characteristics. First of all, it has to be genuine and authentic, and secondly, it has to be rationally linked to what your company actually does.

For example, you’re not going to prevent incurable disease by manufacturing sticky labels and you’re not going to create social justice by the consumption of fizzy drinks.

There are some great examples of purposes that really work. For example, Innocent drinks’ mission is to enable people to live healthier lives and die old, but it’s genuine. The company’s called Innocent because it has no artificial additives in the drink and the logo is a halo because it is so virtuous.

Similarly, Dove created a campaign for real women, but it IS a health and beauty product. They wanted to campaign against the airbrushing that takes place, that means real women feel bad about their body image.

However, when a beer makes it their mission to create social justice and open people’s minds, the whole thing becomes laughable. I don’t know about you, but my experience is after a few beers, most people become less tolerant, not more!

So should your company, have a purpose? Absolutely – but it has to be genuine and linked to what you actually do.

For example, if Coca Cola, say they want to spread a little happiness, actually a sugary soft drink can achieve that.

A WHY? doesn’t have to fit into one of the United Nations Millennium Goals. it just needs to have meaning and purpose for the customers who will buy from you. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to New York to fulfil Sticky Marketing’s ‘true mission and purpose’… of solving climate change.

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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