Don’t go anywhere without your impact statement

Don’t go anywhere without your impact statement

Susan Burchill, 3rdspace senior writer and Rachael Sullivan help you debunk the secrets to achieving cult-status for your brand.

As the world continues to change at an exponential rate, brand marketers everywhere are asking: 

How do we keep up? 

How do we stay relevant in an uncertain world?

They’re big questions and I certainly don’t have all the answers. But Tim Duggan’s latest book ‘Cult Status is a great resource to kickstart your thinking. Duggan is co-founder of Junkee Media, based in Sydney. In Cult Status he shares his seven steps for building a successful business in a post-COVID world. While the book is aimed at the next generation of entrepreneurs, the principles extend nicely to marketers wanting to think differently.

Cult Status is defined as:

A business or project with a dedicated community around it who strongly identify with its purpose.

I’m proud to say I’ve been passionate about helping brands define their purpose since before purpose was cool. Most people who know me know that Simon Sinek is my biggest professional crush. I’ve developed a process and used it successfully for years, based on the principles he teaches, helping dozens of brands articulate their purpose, from global corporations and charities to start-ups. What I like about Cult Status is, it’s got me thinking differently. It’s challenged me to re-examine the process I use to better suit the challenges brands and consumers face today. 

How can marketers and leaders create cult status?

During the pandemic Duggan noticed a trend emerging: “…the more cult status a business had, the better its ability to survive through the tough times,” he says.

Not surprisingly Duggan’s first step in creating cult status is to, “clearly define your purpose and communicate it to as many people as possible.” What is new, is that defining a brand’s purpose starts with thinking about the impact the brand wants to have on the people it serves. To me this nicely extends to the impact it has on society and the environment.  

This approach complements Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ approach by providing a way of measuring the impact of your brand’s purpose, something that any CMO focused on ROI will welcome. It’s about re-thinking the impact you want to have as a business, so in the long run your business has the best chance of appealing to the greatest number of customers. It’s about questioning, clarifying and proving why you do what you do, because businesses that exist with the sole reason of creating shareholder returns have no role in tomorrow’s world.

Creating an impact statement

If you want to create your own impact statement, start by taking your purpose or mission statement and adding the words “so that….” after it. 

Rather than saying: 

‘Our mission is to become the go-to provider for XYZ, serving 40% of the renewable energy market by 2025’.

Instead say:

‘Our mission is to become the go to provider for XYZ, helping 10 million people make the switch to renewable energy, so that we can directly reduce our carbon emissions by X million tonnes by 2025.

A new addition to brand architecture

Impact statements are a welcome addition to the brand architecture model we’re adopting at 3rdsapce. We already help brands big and small create their purpose and bring it to life via a content mission – using consumer insight to connect a brand’s purpose with the values of purpose-driven consumers. 

By adding an impact statement to the brand architecture, we’ll provide a measurable way to demonstrate the ROI of purpose and provide a compelling message for consumers to elevate your brand to cult status.