I CHALLENGE each one of my readers this morning to stop everything you are busy with right now and invest at least 15 minutes in finding your true and authentic brand purpose. I am not talking about money, and it is indeed true that sometimes we really have no clue what is our true authentic brand purpose.
The purpose of a great business brand lives within the subconscious mind of the creators or the founders of a business.
It is that internal force which drives business owners without them even being aware of what really drives them. It usually creates the stamina and passion within the founders and owners and at times they may think that it is what they do that motivates them.
This is usually far from the reality, because there is always something much bigger at a subconscious level. From my observation with local business owners in Namibia, most of them are not consciously aware of what the purpose of their business is, as they are not able to share it verbally (even in their native language) with others. Some of these businesses have really done very well, as they have grown gradually and many people have joined higher ranks.
It is also very interesting to note some of these businesses have employed more than a thousand people or even more. These businesses have also grown to the extent that they justify their expenditure on advertising, as they spend millions of dollars on marketing. Sorry to disappoint you so early in this column, because here is the catch. When you as an owner operate a business without a clearly defined purpose, the people within that business, including your marketing and promotions department will surely operate blindly.
If you honestly would like to operate a truly healthy business, it must have everything in abundance: These qualities are but are not limited to – innovation, inspiration, excellence, harmony, peace, joy, well-being of people, freedom to think and to dream, thinking inside the box first (understanding your own existence), before looking outside, trust – in fact all the great things that could positively affect the products and services the business has to offer. When all these qualities are catered for, only then will it deliver the abundant inflow of the by-product we call money. There is always an essence within the brand of your business – it is high time you start discovering it. Perhaps you as the owner may realize that your business has a lot more to offer to the world. As an owner I have to remind you that, when you try to give more, eventually you always receive double of what you have given. Purposeful advertising is a great to have, however it is becoming mandatory for great work that really works. Namibia is part of the global world, and the consumers of products or services are desperate for greater meaning. It is not about just having an interesting selling concept; our citizens are looking for substance and a sense of purpose that could bring meaning to the business brand.
More importantly this purpose will inspire “creativity” in your business and communication like never before. It will spark that kind of creativity that connects with the customers and gets them talking. It will also create the kind of creativity that resonates in the gut and not only ticking boxes in the mind of the owners. True creativity must be able to move those around you – be it laughter, tears or goose bumps. When you are able to do that people will certainly talk about your business for many more years to come. When issues come up, you will be able to think of ways over, under or through roadblocks. I am certainly convinced that Namibian businesses are able to spark that kind of creativity that will naturally occupy the most sought-after media space in this global world – the space between the ears of your consumer.
• Dr Wilfred Isak April holds a PhD (Entrepreneurship) from New Zealand. He currently lectures in Entrepreneurship & Management in the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Namibia.