Purpose comes from within

Brand purpose is more than just a paint job and a press release. Sam Theobald, Text100’s EMEA Director of People, explains how brand purpose must come from within to be believed.

Brand purpose is more than just a paint job and a press release. Sam Theobald, Text100’s EMEA Director of People, explains how brand purpose must come from within to be believed.

We’ve all heard the theories of how important it is for a brand to have purpose. One of the most important things Millennials look for in an employer is a purpose.  It needs to have integrity, it needs to be genuine and the people within the brand need to believe in it.

How do you get your people to not only believe in your brand purpose, but live it in a way that attracts others? 

The marketeers will have us believe it’s easy. Put some bells and whistles on it, talk about it and people will come. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work in practice and is certainly not a sustainable approach.

We must build brand purpose from the inside out. Our people need to believe it before they can advocate for us.

At Text100 our approach to our own brand purpose has been the same as the advice we give our clients. Achieving buy-in from your employees boils down to three things:-

  1. Know your roots: Where did the brand come from, and why was it started? This is where you will find the most authentic reason for getting out of bed in the morning.  For Text100, our heritage is tech. Consequently, we know how tech touches every aspect of our lives.
  2. Ask your people what you stand for: Not just the C-suite but the people on the front line. What do they feel the brand stands for, and what personality has it developed over the years?
  3. It needs to be driven by the CEO. If it isn’t good enough for the people at the top to believe in, why should anyone else?

Nothing worthwhile is easy; and vice versa

Text100 developed its brand purpose at a time of dramatic change. We merged and integrated with multiple agencies, which was a difficult (but also extremely exciting) time for any company. It was an opportunity to evaluate what we stand for and build a uniting purpose. So we did just that.  It did not happen overnight, but it did come from our people, it considers our heritage and it’s driven and enthusiastically endorsed by our CEO.

Fast-forward 18 months, our purpose is ‘to do the most inspiring work for the most important companies’.

Strength to strength

We recently merged with consumer agency, Lexis, and so have 30 new employees joining the team, so what are we doing to streamline this transition and make each of them feel like a Textie?

  • Integrating our leadership team: Toby Conlon is our new head of corporate reputation, and Bianca Lee-Chang is leading our consumer team. They are working with our existing leadership set-up, learning how we live our purpose through our work and our people. They are also responsible for ensuring our purpose is filtering from the top down to everyone. A clear and consistent message is key to embedding the purpose through a time of change.
  • Encouraging feedback: How can we evolve our purpose in the day-to-day workings of the business? Is our purpose evident in our work? Prosecco is a permanent fixture in our all-staff meetings, but is our purpose?
  • Working together: Our purpose shines through the work we do for our clients. Our flat structure means you will be working with the big boss one day, and taking the lead on work the next. The best way to integrate!
  • Passion is infectious. We want new members of the team to feed off that and get involved. Our purpose is about doing great work; this way everyone gets to know what great work looks like.

There will be teething problems, and there will be people that decide to move on. But this is a journey that we’re on all together (cheese but true).

To do the most inspiring work for the most important companies.

Our reason for getting out of bed in the morning.  This is the one thing, regardless of our skill set, our role within the organisation, or our level, that we have in common.  Our uniting factor.  Our Purpose.

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