In Fortune, for example, Weight Watchers' head Mindy Grossman hammers how the organization puts its purpose first. That's, she explains, "inspiring healthy habits for life."
I can just envision the brass at Weight Watchers, perhaps along with some consultants, defining that purpose. Good for them.
They have, as Grossman puts it, a "filter" for decision making. Likely they experienced a sense of accomplishment in doing that. And, most importantly for the business, it has a simplification impact.
That's nothing new, actually. That was the business objective of P&G when it invented brand management in the 1930s. Creating an integrated system for one of its soaps automatically determined all processes, ranging from manufacturing to pricing. Everything was to be "filtered" through the soap branding.
What's puzzling, though, is that purpose-drive is brought out of the back room of corporate planning and operations to consumers.
Here's the reality, as least for me, who was "the fat girl" in the second grade and terribly bullied. I want Weight Watchers to find a way to reduce the high recidivism in losing weight.
That would be breakthrough. That would be what drives me to use the service versus its growing number of competitors, brick and mortar and online. Every time I became a member in Weight Watchers I knocked the pounds and I gained them back.
In addition, it wasn't Facebook's purpose of connecting people which motivated me to become a user. At the time a niche service I offered required I be on that social network. And that was that. Facebook fulfilled my business need, at the time.
And what about interviewing real estate agents to sell our house? Do we want to hear about the purpose driving that real estate firm or individual player? No, we want to hear about their track record in getting the sellers' price and in having a sales contract signed in how many days.
"Purpose-driven" is a branding fad which can be downright annoying. I don't want to hear about it in your sales pitch.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.