Why brands must harness the power of purpose

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,” has become a popular quote.

This statement triggered people to rethink themselves and define the purpose of life. Likewise the business world, disruptive forces are challenging organisations to reassess and consider new transformation plays – increasing globalization, demographic shift and digital disruption. It encourages corporations to  ask themselves why they exist and create their purpose in order to sustainably outperform in the long run.

Purpose is becoming increasingly important in defining business success. The business world is placing a spotlight on purpose and changing how success is measured.

Purpose-led companies have a clear reason for being – we know what they stand for. Having a clear purpose will better create customer experiences with shared values, said Rawit Hanusaha, CEO of Srichand Co, Thailand’s long-standing facial powder brand.

He said delivering values through products and services will form deeper relationship and engagement between brand and customers.

Consider the case of Joshie the Giraffe, it is a remarkable story about customer delight that showed how brilliant customer service of the Ritz Carlton Hotel was.

Chris Hurn wrote his impressive story about the Ritz Carlton on the Huffington Post in 2012 and that became the marketing case at all time involved customer experience.

Hurn’s son discovered he’d left behind Joshie, his beloved stuffed giraffe. Doing his best to console his distraught son, Hurn assured him Joshie was fine and had merely extended his vacation at the Ritz.

Luckily, Hurn received a call that night from the Ritz-Carlton letting him know Joshie had been found and was safe in the hands of the hotel’s loss prevention team. Hurn confessed that he’d fabricated a story about Joshie’s extended vacation, and asked if the staff would be willing to take a photo of Joshie lounging by the pool.

Purpose is not something you find, it something you build. Most of us have to focus as much on making our work meaningful as in taking meaning from it. Put differently, purpose is a thing you build, not a thing you find. Almost any work can possess remarkable purpose. School bus drivers bear enormous responsibility — caring for and keeping safe dozens of children — and are an essential part of assuring our children receive the education they need and deserve. Nurses play an essential role not simply in treating people’s medical conditions but also in guiding them through some of life’s most difficult times. Cashiers can be a friendly, uplifting interaction in someone’s day — often desperately needed — or a forgettable or regrettable one. But in each of these instances, purpose is often primarily derived from focusing on what’s so meaningful and purposeful about the job and on doing it in such a way that that meaning is enhanced and takes center stage.

Chutima Sribumrungsart, Country director of human resources at Microsoft Thailand, told us the story how Microsoft turned around to overcome the age of digital disruption. And the first thing to focus is “people”. Because people is the one who propel technology, not technology itself.

“For too long we’ve (Microsoft) been the know-it-all company, and we need to become the learn-it-all company” she said. “And definitely, we need to embrace that purpose in every element of the way we do and work to serve best customer satisfaction.”