Company Purpose in Practice


How does purpose show up tactically for a brand? How does it translate across different functional areas? How does it drive innovation and, in turn, profit?

Aside from providing immense clarity and focus, defining your brand’s purpose unlocks incredible value across all aspects of your business - from product/service design through to marketing and employee engagement. Let’s look at 5 best practices of companies putting purpose into practice in innovative, compelling ways across key functional areas.

  • Puma marries sustainable innovation with product performance through its Bio-Tech Sneakers incorporating ‘fatigue warning.’ As a collaboration with MIT Labs, this shoe contains material that learns a user’s specific heat patterns and opens up ventilation based on those user-specific inputs.

  • Global marketing powerhouse H&M has a long-standing relationship with eco and sustainability messaging. Its recent installment, ‘Close the Loop’ Campaign, brings forward a new concept and conversation within the apparel industry to consumers in an effort to not only engage but educate and inform. H&M cleverly leverages their own brand marketing as a call to action for greater change amongst both industry and end-consumers alike, continuously establishing itself as a thought leader.

  • Widely successful fashion upstart Everlane continues to challenge industry traditions by breaking through the clutter with an innovative conversation based on transparency. From pop-up shops that share 100% Human Stories to interactive POS displays that visually and verbally communicate the ethics of its supply chain, Everlane brings a much needed fresh perspective and voice through purpose to their retail touchpoints.

  • Consumers today expect brands to delight, surprise and engage them in unexpected ways that create new meaning in their lives. LL Bean’s Outdoor Coworking Space directly taps into these new expectations, also tapping into the stark reality that Americans currently spend 95 percent of time indoors. LL Bean’s innovative engagement tactic is both practical and meaningful -- re-emphasizing its relevance to and understanding of its consumers today.

  • Renowned innovation leader Adidas brings its innovative practices throughout the entire organization including employee engagement. The ADIDAS GROUP INNOVATION ACADEMY (aGIA) is an online learning platform containing eight modules with employees who complete the courseware responsible for forming one big idea for the brand. Following submission of ideas, the top 9 are selected for a formalized, live competition to select one winner - and the winning idea receives funding. Not only is this an educational opportunity for training employees on thinking innovatively, but empowering them by showing that their ideas do matter.

    Beyond defining and establishing clarity of purpose, leveraging it as a platform for innovation across all aspects of your company will unlock tremendous value. To find out why and where to start, visit for a step-by-step, guided course in how to define your company purpose and to create an actionable purpose plan that will unlock this value to your business.