• Starbucks will close 8000 stores across the USA for half a day to train all employees on diversity, inclusion, and sensitivity in response to an incident in one store.
  • ABC canceled an extremely popular TV series within hours of a racially charged tweet by the star of the show.

There is ample evidence to suggest that in an age where the consumer is spoiled for choice, the “Purpose” of the company, beyond even the specifics of the product or service offering, forms the most important pillar of the customer-brand relationship. The consumer buys into why the company does something even more than what they do. It then inevitably follows that any deviation from that purpose and any action that is out of character will make the customer question the company’s commitment to its “Purpose”. The consumer begins to wonder if the stated “Purpose” is just a fancy tagline, dreamed up by marketing to create an artificial differentiation?

There are several, extremely good, reasons for a company to be driven by its “Purpose” but what is key to all of them is authenticity. The “Purpose” is not an artificial construct -it should derive from what the company and the brands within it truly represent. If this is the case, then everything the company does will inevitably be aligned with the “Purpose”. Once that is achieved, it’s clear that any deviation, no matter how slight or how private, needs to be challenged and to be addressed -even if it means going to lengths that seem unreasonable!