What Fast Company Got Wrong About the Gillette Ad

Fast Company posted this challenging tweet and link to a depreciative article on Twitter. The article title is “Brand purpose” is a lie

I agree with the tweet. A Core Purpose is not something you make up. And big businesses who do this only fuel our cynicism. But Core Purpose in and of itself is no lie, at least it doesn’t have to be.

A meaningful, and accurate, Core Purpose can be part of a Company’s Vision and guide decisions and where it is going. A Core Purpose is the reason the company exists, beyond just making a profit.

And Core Values are those rules that everyone in an organization lives by. They are enduring tenets that guide us in times of stress, conflict, and indecision. To work, they must be adhered to and demonstrated by everyone in an organization. To work, no one can be “above the law” where the Core Values do not apply to them.

For a smaller business, even one in the $1M to $50M range, having a clear and articulated Core Purpose and Core Values can provide a touch stone to guide all of the people in the organization in their behaviors, and reason for coming to work each day.

We’ll see if Gillette really believes what they say or whether they just came up with this as a clever marketing strategy. I am sure employees and others will come out and share inconsistencies between this campaign and their internal behaviors and values, should they exist.

Meanwhile, I hope this campaign is a reflection of their true Core Values. Because one thing that Fast Company got wrong was this campaign was an attempt to convey their Values, not their Purpose.


Read more about the 3 Components of a Company Vision on this special, secret Vision Resources page.




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