Clarity of Purpose
“Explain it to a 4 year old”
“The elevator pitch”
Being ruthlessly clear with the purpose of your work and your brand is more difficult than you realize. Think about all your favorite brands, they all have a clear purpose in their statement (or at least they used to, in the case of Apple). The wording is clear, concise and believable.
“The things that define you are not just the things that you do, but the things you say no to. Saying no is focus. We only make jeans. We say no to anything else. Be narrow. Be good.” - Hiut Denim
“Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete” - Nike
“For more than 50 years it has been Vitsœ’s goal to make long-living furniture. We have consistently stood up to a world that has favored new over better. With single-minded determination we have not only designed and made furniture that lasts for generations but we have striven to support it with our very best customer service.” - VITSOE
These are the good ones - the clear ones. Love these. You can explain these to anyone and they can last forever.
Apple used to be about thinking different and about troublemakers - You’d be hard pressed to find what their purpose is right now. I’ve just looked through their site and haven’t found a single piece that speaks to their brand. It seems their goals are different now - I will be curious to see if they’ve moved past having a true purpose.
So the point of this post - I’m in the process of attempting to clarify the purpose of the company I’m building. And it’s hard. It’s hard to define something that doesn’t really, fully exist yet. Sure, there are samples and prototypes and in progress ideas, but non of them are truly real yet. Non of them have been experienced by customers. From what I've attempted so far however, here are some lessons from my struggle
It’s best to keep it short and to the point
It needs to be aspirational
It needs to represent the uniqueness of your vision. Generic doesn’t work and doesn’t get noticed.
It needs to be meaningful
It needs to be memorable
I am continuing to work on defining that purpose. I believe it's a skill to be very clear about what you're doing - a skill that can be learned. I hope to eventually share more of what it is, once it's out there and ready.