Why we do it
Capitalism has gotta raise its game.
Meerkats’ three business units have been created to deliver on our core belief that the key to enduring business growth in the 21st century is sharing a motive with consumers that is authentic. That the conversation you have in your boardroom about why you are in business can be – and should be – the same conversation you have with your staff and your customers.
When a company is driven by a desire to deliver value in the world (true purpose) – as opposed to simply removing value (conventional capitalism), some pretty terrific things start happening – to your business and to the humans connected to it.
We captured these knock-on effects in a simple but insanely powerful tool called The Circle of True Purpose. Once Meerkats has helped you surface and enunciate your own true purpose, this simple five-pointed circle can become a compass for every key business decision you will ever make.
The Circle of True Purpose.
We’ve captured the knock-on effects of being purpose-driven in a simple tool: the Circle of True Purpose. It’s a pattern of behaviour that can be drawn on a restaurant napkin and yet has the power to change the way you do business. And the lives of those who work for you, buy from you and invest in you.
1. True purpose
Apple didn’t become the world’s most valuable brand by adopting a purpose of “making better computers”. Steve Jobs’ authentic motive was “To harness emerging technology to advance mankind”. That’s why they innovated past IBM and Dell with category-busting innovations like the iPod, iPhone, iTunes, iPad and so on.
That’s what true purpose is: a powerful way to authentically motivate people to bring value into the world, and not just extract value from it.
Knowing your true purpose triggers a ripple effect that can transform the growth potential of your business.
People don’t just understand a true purpose, they catch it. It gets under their skin in a way that traditional corporate mission statements never do.
Your best employees – the ones who believe in your organisation and want to see it grow and succeed – will want to bring your true purpose to life and unleash its potential.
In this way, your purpose can attract the smartest minds in your industry because you’re not just asking them to work for you, you’re inviting them to be a part of a grand adventure. One that moves entire industries on, for the betterment of your business and society at large.
When smart, dedicated people are united around an idea that truthfully inspires them – as opposed to a cookie-cutter Corporate Vision they’ve been asked to memorise – what occurs next is genuine innovation.
Not the copycat “product tweaks” that many brands promote as innovation, but true market-making, category-busting, stockmarket-impacting commercial invention.
Like the new wetsuit created by outdoor clothing brand Patagonia; the first in the world to be manufactured from entirely organic materials.
This product is a sales phenomenon and is a direct result of Patagonia’s purpose to help consumers explore the unspoilt parts of our earth without ruining it.
In their book “Firms Of Endearment”, authors Sisodia, Wolfe and Sheth researched thousands of purpose-driven companies and compared their profits to companies on the Standard & Poor’s top 500 list.
They found that companies motivated by a genuine desire to deliver authentic value to their customers were growing at a rate over five times that of the S&P 500.
It’s becoming painfully clear that in a super-connected world of savvy consumers, true purpose is not just some fluffy brand theory, it’s a potent business strategy that decreases customer churn, reduces cost per sale, improves staff morale, delivers enduring product and service innovation and so, so much more.
When a company views profit not as the primary goal but as the eventual by-product of creating value in the world, the profit comes. And comes.
Excuse the buzzword, but it’s a classic case of obliquity at work: if you desperately want something, chasing it will make it move further away from you; better to pursue the thing that attracts what you want.
Purpose-driven companies find that purpose also has many other rewards: that authentic motive creates amazing employee culture, builds enviable industry respect, attracts all those millennials who are openly rejecting traditional corporate overtures, appeals to the new generation of investors who are seeking ethical profits.
Sound too good to be true? Come and talk to us. Truth is our product.