Recognizing your customer’s purpose: why and how 

Acknowledging the customer's purpose is definitely a key to growth

Creating steady growth is a basic necessity. Using the concept of “purpose” is a good starting point to generate profit. We all remember Patagonia’s 1% for the planet and Toms Shoes’ buy-a-pair-give-a-pair, right?

For most companies, 2020 was an opportunity to catch up on old trends that became the number one priority: online commerce, virtual events, working from home… But some organizations found themselves unprepared for such adjustments. Trends as a “purpose”, customer experience and their additional developments are revealing their value in enhancing growth. 

Adopting social and environmental causes or a sustainability policy is now standard but you have to consider the concept of purpose more widely. To understand and set-up purpose-fueled growth, companies override their competitors on growth, differentiation, profitability, and long-term customer and employee loyalty. How? They consider three levels of purpose: company purpose, brand purpose, and customer purpose. Then, they optimize their products, people, policies, processes, technology, operations and metrics and finally deliver an experience lined up with those purposes. 

The three levels of Purpose

 

Big-P Purpose (Company)

This first purpose can be described as the company’s role in the world. This role, which can be understood within a few words, describes what the company does, but also why they do it. Customers have a reason to choose the product, and employees can really see the impact of their work in the world. Plus, when the Big-P Purpose corresponds to their clients’ Purpose, the fact that they share a common interest (or rather a common reason to exist)  leads to a special and unique relationship.  

Medium-P Purpose (Brand)

If the Big-P purpose describes the company’s role in the world, then the Medium-P purpose is the role of the company in the lives of its customers. If a company only has one brand, the Big-P and Medium-P both have the same Purpose. They can opt to have distinct company and brand purposes, particularly if they have more than one brand and / or branches. 

Founded purposes are future promises. Statements that elevate the company's mission and drive customer expectations! That is to say, the company exposes itself to complaint if it doesn’t align with its stated purposes. 

Small-P Purpose (Customer)

You may think that this last purpose is as small as its name suggests. But the Small-P purpose has the biggest impact on company performance and its leadership. 

Customer purpose can start with “I want…”, “I need…”, “Can you…” or “How can I…”. It’s a statement of  needs, desires, and questions that attract the customer to your business.

This purpose generates value for your business. For example, more and more companies measure their performance by measuring how they help their customers achieve their purpose, using Customer Performance Indicators (CPI’s…). This is why every purpose is the element around which an experience is designed

Purpose Led Experience: how to define, design and deliver

Customer experience is undoubtedly one of the biggest business trends of recent years…one that should not be ignored. A user experience comprises the reactions and feelings that customers have when they’re pursuing a purpose that is important to them.

Excitement, joy, satisfaction, anticipation are all emotions a customer can feel if the company has understood his purpose and offered him an appropriate experience. On the other hand, frustration, confusion, disappointment or anger is what he or she’ll experience if the company doesn’t facilitate reaching their purpose. Whether they easily achieve the purpose or not is what really counts. 

How to assure your company’s success and growth? Try to understand what really matters the most to your customers; in their lives, in the world, or in the specific context that you provide. This mission can be achieved by researching existing ethnographic research or leading a study yourself.

Put forward new experience concepts 

What you identify as your customer purposes in your research will help you find new ideas for your experience. Write down as many ideas as you can. Then, measure them individually based on their potential impact CPIs and KPIs. The following step consists of detecting what each concept required (technical, operations, organization, data, occurrence…).

Bringing a new experience to life 

A company’s long term vision and the day-to-day tasks of its teams must be aligned with the new experience strategy. Your practices and those of your employees should be reviewed in order to really achieve your goal. And speaking of employees, motivate them into delivering the customer purposes through the experience the company is offering.

Technology will unquestionably help you establish everything we’ve talked about so far, but the fact that there are a lot of offers can be daunting. Get in touch with one of our experts with your questions. Benefit not only from our insights but we can start helping you move forward with a plan!

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