Purpose vs. Profitability

In a world obsessed with the immediate, understanding the essence of branding is like remembering you own a treadmill during a Netflix binge. It's about purpose. Yet, discovering and sticking to that purpose is as challenging as committing to a fitness regime after the New Year's excitement fades.

Think of it this way: You're pumped, ready to transform your life, or in this case, your business. But as the novelty wears off, and you're not seeing six-pack abs or skyrocketing sales, it's tempting to revert to the old ways. For businesses—mine not withstanding—this often means falling back into the pursuit of profits at all costs, losing sight of the initial vision.

Let's simplify:

Imagine a business that decides its goal isn't merely to fill its pockets but to excel in its domain. Simple_Complexity, penned by William Donaldson, tells just such a tale where prioritizing excellence inadvertently lead to surpassed financial rewards.

Or, consider Apple. Under Steve Jobs, Apple aspired not just to churn out gadgets but to create "tools for the mind that advance humankind." It wasn’t just about the product; it was about the impact. And yes, as we know, the profits followed.

These examples underscore a simple truth: focusing on a meaningful purpose can be far more fulfilling and ultimately profitable than the relentless chase of revenue. A shared vision can galvanize your team, captivate your customers, and indeed, bolster your bottom line.

What if we treated our company's purpose with the same reverence as our profit margins? Yes, profits keep the lights on, but what if they also illuminated paths to make a significant difference?

This isn't about choosing between purpose and profit. It's about weaving them together into the very fabric of your brand. It’s challenging, no doubt, but imagine the possibilities if we get it right.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh, RGD, is a brand strategist and designer working with business owners to bring their envisioned brand to life with strategic and practical solutions.

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