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life is goodPurpose-driven marketing is making headlines, differentiating companies and influencing deals daily. Take a look at the “Helpful Honda” campaign, or the “American Express Small Business” campaign. Both deliver a halo-effect around the respective brands and for good reason. What they are doing is having a positive impact on their target audience. 

By definition, purpose-driven marketing connects businesses with their prospects and customers by focusing on shared desires, philosophies, and interests. A great example of building around a shared or desired philosophy is the “Life is Good” brand. Jake, the main stick in the brand, has a half glass full view of the world – something millions of people want and need. The two founders, who happen to be brothers, capitalized on the emotional tie and built a business from inside their van, aka their temporary home for two years. Today, this triple digit million-dollar company and foundation continues to markets its mission, not its products, and has found other ways to elevate its purpose and share its success.

Why am I sharing this? Because marketing your mission, your purpose is what most IT service providers absolutely do not do. By default the IT channel markets the solution, the service or simply what’s for sale. Yes, those are relevant lines of discussion, but nine times out of 10, they do not differentiate one brand from the next.

Successful MSPs market the experience and the energy built around the customers, the community and the culture. It’s a careful game of show and tell that must be genuine to gain traction and resonate with the audiences they serve.

So, here’s the big Q you’ve been waiting for:  What’s your purpose?

It’s one of the single most important questions every business must answer in order to effectively market, differentiate and stay relevant in today’s experience-driven, purpose-driven marketplace. Here are a few Qs to noodle on in your next team meeting – throw out the Qs, write down the As on the whiteboard and see what sticks.

– What do we do and why do we do it? 

– How does what we do benefit others? 

– What is the best way to communicate who we are and what we do to them? 

If you want to summarize what you’ve heard, here’s an easy sketch to lift from marketing expert David Mayer of Lippincott, a world-renowned branding company:

our purpose

Three Ways We Deliver It:

3 ways box

I’ve said it before, but here it goes again… If you are struggling with the answers and want to get to the heart of what makes you unique and why people do business with you – ask!  Ask your associates. Ask your partners. And most importantly, ask your customers. They want you to succeed and nine times out of ten will be open to spending a few minutes on the phone to Q&A about what you do and why it is valuable to them.

Finding your purpose is pivotal to differentiating your brand and making connections with people that will have a positive impact on your business.

Photo Credit: Rain Love AMR via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons 2.0

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Marie Rourke

Posted by Marie Rourke

As president and founder of WhiteFox, Marie is recognized throughout the IT channel for her straightforward, business-minded approach to channel marketing, PR and communications. With more than 15 years of experience in the IT channel, Marie is a friendly face at industry events and a respected advisor and colleague to many of the channel’s most innovative companies and business partners. Marie launched WhiteFox Marketing and Communications in 2005 with the vision of bringing channel relationships, marketing, PR and communications to the forefront of companies’ business growth strategies and tactics.

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