Whiplash Team, 7th October, 2022

The purpose is the soul of the brand

If there is an abstract and intangible concept, it is that of the soul. If we use it in the context of organisations, it implies we treat them as living beings, with a two-layer dimension where the soul is the vital meaning giving sense and consistency to the tangible aspects of the company. Thus, the soul is elevated to become the purpose of the organisation.

In general, in the organisational framework, the concepts of mission, vision and values ​​are usually quite clear. However, when we talk about purpose this is not necessarily the case.

The purpose is the organisation’s reason for being and gives rise to its identity. A motivating purpose creates a positive energy that, translated into business and brand strategies, makes organisations move forward and grow.

A timeless notion

Thus, the purpose is a notion that endures over time. It is the force that moves the organisation and is reflected in the people, products, presentation and presence of the company in the market.

The purpose is then equal to the concept of soul proposed by the Spanish thinker and professor Javier Fernández Aguado in his 2009 book “The soul of organisations,” (El Alma de las organizaciones) where he defines it as “the essential intangible capable of unifying the different elements at stake.”

He also points out that: “The soul of organisations comprises the mission, the vision, its culture… All these elements are constitutive of the soul, but it is found above all its parts. The same organisation can transform its mission, its vision or its culture and continue to keep its soul alive.”

Purpose is key to strong brands

An organisation capable of identifying the vital constants that arise from its purpose –from its soul–and expresses them in a way that affects what it does and says, and on how it does it and says it, will generate in the user a series of tangible and consistent positive perceptions associated with the brand.

All this leads to strong brands, capable of standing out among the thousands of names and products that flood the market.

A look at the current panorama of brands reveals century-old names such as P&G, which since its appearance in 1837 has placed its purpose at the centre of its work, has made its mission “Touching lives, improving life” the leitmotiv that gives coherence to all its actions.

Apple is another example of brands with a soul. The vital principles that have sustained it since its foundation, in 1976, remain intact. They are perceived not only in the design of its products, but also in its business strategy, its stores, its employees, and its communication. This allows the brand to offer a consistent user experience through any of its channels.

These are organisations with a purpose, where, why things are done drives how they are done. Companies in which the purpose is transferred to each strategy, process or product and faithfully reflects why they exist and how they wish to contribute to improving society, deeply connecting with the needs of its users and injecting life into the organisation.

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