Today, the nature of a business can change in an alarmingly quick instant. Innovation, technology, and connectivity have the potential to turn any industry on its head in a heartbeat. That is why it’s absolutely critical that modern business owners truly understand the purpose of their company. They must determine the difference between what it is they think they do, and what it is they actually do.
Many of you are probably asking yourself what the difference is. That’s normal. We have a tendency to think only in terms of what we accomplish short-term and the direct impact it has on our own business. A company that produces energy drinks, for example, might say that what they do is manufacture and sell highly-caffeinated beverages for profit. While this isn’t inaccurate, it also isn’t enough to prevent the company from failing as they fall victim to an unexpected 21st-century invention.
Instead, the company should think in terms of their greater purpose:
- Who purchases the energy drinks?
- What do they hope to accomplish by purchasing them?
- How can the company help their clients accomplish this in the best possible way?
By focusing on the larger goal behind the current product, business owners are better able to invest in the things that will help the company maintain relevance in the future.
Returning to our example above, let’s say that college students purchase the energy drinks in order to study more material, and new parents purchase the drinks to stay awake long enough to check off everything on their to-do lists. It would be safe to say that what the company actually does is help people find additional time to handle life’s challenges. With this knowledge, the company owner can invest in new research or technology that also aids in “finding additional time” for life.
It’s important to remember that merely identifying what you actually do is not enough to prevent your brand from becoming obsolete over time. You need to ensure that you’re communicating your greater purpose to consumers and investors alike. Marketing campaigns should evoke the emotions felt by your target audience when you’ve accomplished your greater purpose, regardless of what method was used to accomplish it. This will effectively allow your company to explore new product avenues while maintaining the public perception of your brand and increasing opportunities for growth over time.