SHOCKER: Starbucks’ purpose has (almost) nothing to do with coffee.

Yes, I’m serious.

Don’t believe me? Here is the company’s purpose statement straight from the source …

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one community at a time.”

Starbucks successfully drives business growth because it uses this purpose as its guide. If the purpose statement were simply about delivering coffee, do you think they’d be as far as they are today?

Within it’s purpose, Starbucks actually played around with expanding into wine and craft beer. In 2016, set up up a program with Feeding America to donate 100% of unsold food from 7,600 U.S. stores to local food banks and pantries – amounting to 50 million meals by 2021. All this among other initiatives outside of coffee that serve their purpose.

And you may have heard the news about a nationwide shutdown of all Starbucks for employees to undergo anti-bias training after an employee called police on two black men who refused to order a drink. This kind of press could be so damaging, but Starbucks’ purpose guides their decisions to bounce back!

This is the essence of creating successful brand strategy: focus on purpose before product. Take the product specifics out of your Why. Go deep, be meaningful – dare I say, be human?

While I support a lot of local coffee shops, tip of my hat to Starbucks on this one. But, what if you are one of these local coffee shops or other business?

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OK, I’m Not Starbucks.

So, you’re interested in a purpose-led brand strategy but it feels out of reach as a company much smaller than globally recognized Starbucks brand.

The truth is, a brand’s success in following its purpose is heavily reliant on leadership of the company. Meaning, if you’re brand is just you – you can certainly create a purpose-led brand and – in fact – it’s a bit easier than Starbucks’ situation because you don’t have to train others to follow the brand’s purpose and culture! It’s up to you!

The key in creating a purpose-led brand starts in crafting a solid mission statement. And this isn’t just about slapping something together after a quick brainstorming session, and posting it on a website. It takes time to discover the essence of the mission.

The best way to follow through on a purpose-led brand is to invest time into creating a mission statement that is broken into two pieces: Vision + Value.

The Vision Component of a Purpose-Led Brand

What is a vision statement? Single sentence statement reflecting the foundational reason for the brand’s existence – your meaning and your why.

How is it used? A brand vision statement maintains focus for your brand. How you fulfill your mission over time may change (your value piece), but the problem you solve (your vision) is at the heart of the way you grow. In essence, your brand vision is the north star for your brand strategy.

The Value Component of a Purpose-Led Brand

What is it? Four sentence statement that activates your brand vision. This may change more often or more dramatically than your vision over time, as it’s more about how you’re delivering on that focus. It’s the GPS of your brand, the way you are navigating your aspirations

How is it used? This statement activates your brand mission, more directly sharing with consumers what you can do for them. It still won’t get into all the nitty gritty details, but it serves a great tool to get them hooked and interested.

How Do Vision + Value Work?

Your Vision is the longstanding, driving factor of your business. It’s the destination you’re constantly headed towards, the biggest picture impact you want to make. Your vision is your why.

Your Value provides more clarity about bringing this vision to life. What are the steps you take, the services or products you provide and who are the people you serve. Your value is the how.

The Value is more likely to change, more often. In fact, if you find that its typical that you review your product and service offerings on an annual basis – then its just as essential to review the value piece of your mission on an annual basis, because these are directly related. During that review, you won’t be making any changes to your vision – but you will use it as your guide to ensure your how always aligns with your why.

Ready to make a shift in your brand? Join our free workshop to learn the exact steps you need to take to write your Vision + Value statements for clearer direction, stronger communication and deeper connections.