Avoiding the Function Mistake in Organisation Purpose and Differentiation

Inspirational Organisations have a clear connection between their greater purpose and their competitive advantages.

They have clarity and strategic alignment between the organisation's 'Brand Spirit' and 'Strategic Positioning.'

For example, BMW's pursuit to 'bring driving pleasure' (greater purpose) is clearly linked to their driving and buying experience (competitive advantages).

However, he mistake that so often happens is to tie greater purpose and differentiation to a functional benefit. For example, early search engines such as Lycos or AltaVista differentiated on a technology benefit - speed. Along came Google and beat them all at their own game. Google were not the first search engine but they did have the best algorithm.

Google had a functional point of difference but this is likely to not last. So what does an organisation do?

Google are not relying on just the fastest search results to give competitive advantage. They've kept pace with winning the search game but Google have spent the best part of a decade building a moat around their user base through a mobile digital ecosystem.

Their greater purpose of orgainsing the world's information into something that is useable and accessible has ensured they can keep using product innovation to deliver on greater purpose. Therefore, it makes sense to launch Google+, Google Apps etc. Each of these products helps achieve the greater purpose and connects the brand and the business model around the idea of useful, accessible information.

ave you made your point of difference a functional expression of what you do?

Are you the most creative designer, the smartest accountant, the fastest bookkeeper or the cheapest tradesperson?

Or, have you worked out how to use the benefit you bring to a customer and link it to a higher order emotional and inspirational greater purpose?

Ultimately, someone will be faster, cheaper or smarter than you. The good news is the fastest, cheapest and smartest don't always win.

Those who can bring long term sustained value win. The coffee shop who remembers the customer's name and order, the tradesperson who gives suggestions to make your house better, or accountant who is interested in your greater well being vs just your bank account.

Those that win create value that connects to people as individuals.

What's your greater purpose? How does your strategy connect? Have you worked out how to leverage the connection between your brand and your business model?

Talk to us if you haven't and we can help you get clarity.