Is brand purpose for the HR or finance department?

More and more companies are recognizing the value of a brand purpose. It has the power to attract talented recruits and motivate a workforce. A post in the Harvard Business Review highlights the advantages:

"Doctors have even found that people with purpose in their lives are less prone to disease. Purpose is increasingly being touted as the key to navigating the complex, volatile, ambiguous world we face today, where strategy is ever changing and few decisions are obviously right or wrong."

It’s easy for us to see why HR would love it. It’s emotional and feel good. But is that it?

Is brand purpose just some hippy-dippy crap?

When I work with organizations to discover their brand purpose, there’s always the threat of somebody on the leadership team thinking this is a bunch of hippy-dippy crap.

Now, I’ve worked with a number of leadership teams. After all, brand purpose has to be defined at this level, or it will never have a chance of truly taking hold across an organization. And just to be transparent, I’ve never actually heard the exact words “hippy-dippy crap.” But I’ve seen it in the eyes of that one member of the leadership team (sometimes it’s more than one). I can sense it in their posture. I can feel it in their tone.

I get it. This could initially be misconstrued as some let’s-all-hold-hands-and-sing-kumbaya exercise. Especially if an organization has gone through some hokey team building activity.

I call this out pretty quickly. I want the participants to know that, when it comes to brand purpose, we’re talking about something that has gravitas. This is not something that just affects a company’s culture. It’s something that hits the bottom line.

I’ve written about this impact in "5 reasons we’re drawn to purpose-driven brands”. There is a great statistic in the post:

"According to a survey from Deloitte, "91% of respondents (executives and employees) who said their company had a strong sense of purpose also said their company had a history of strong financial performance.”

There are plenty of other stats as well that prove that brand purpose can affect everything from sales growth to company valuations. Which brings us back to the original question. Is brand purpose for the HR or finance department?

The answer is yes.