(By Bob McCurdy) There’s been a lot written recently about “brand purpose.” The need for a brand or business to exist beyond just selling things and boosting a stock price.
“Brand purpose” is the true north that guides how a brand or company behaves and approaches business decisions to provide their customers with a benefit beyond what they are simply selling.
Can this philosophy of having a larger “purpose” apply to those of us selling radio? Absolutely.
The first step toward identifying own personal “brand purpose” is to reflect upon how we describe what it is we actually do for a living, as how we describe our work contributes to how we approach our work. How many times have we responded with something like, “I sell radio” or something similar, when asked, “What do you do for a living?”
This type of response is “task” focused, is absent of any “purpose” and greatly trivializes what it is we do. We do a lot more than just sell commercials. We contribute to the wellbeing of our communities and beyond. I’ll explain.
I have seen sales “purpose” in action. My father sold life insurance for over 55 years and he continually emphasized that he didn’t just sell insurance policies, he “protected and kept families together.” His “purpose” was something bigger than a commission check and without question, this “purpose” contributed to his considerable success.
Back to the “What do you do for a living” question. When asked, moving forward, let’s not focus on our task but reply with an answer that speaks to a larger “purpose” that better reflects the importance of our work:
– I help businesses succeed.
– I help families thrive.
– I assist my clients in fulfilling their dreams.
– I ensure that our community remains prosperous.
Keeping our communities prosperous? Dream makers? Does it sound a little crazy for us local radio account executives to claim such a thing?
Not really, as communities are strong from the bottom up, not top down, as any community is the sum of its individual parts.
If the individual parts are solid, the community is solid. Plus the vast majority of retail is local and when local retail is strong, the community is strong. So, by assisting local retailers to succeed one by one, we are greatly contributing to the overall health of our communities.
Maybe it’s not so ludicrous to make the leap that the good work we do individually, as a company, and industry for our clients, enables our communities, counties, states, and even our country to thrive. Why not think big?
When we are at our best, guiding and coaching our local clients as to how to squeeze the most value out of their advertising dollar, we are actually assisting many of them to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Not only is this professionally satisfying, but I’ll go as far as saying there’s something noble about it.
By viewing our profession in this manner, it becomes abundantly clear that what we do is a lot more important than just selling air time.
Viewing our “purpose” in this fashion also highlights the responsibility we have to our clients and communities to continue to learn, refine, and master our craft, so that we can continue to effectively guide their advertising investments in this ever-changing media landscape.
Finally, we should make no mistake about it, clients can tell whether or not their ad vendors have a “purpose” or are just concerned about their commission. So selfishly, it’s important to our own personal success to have a higher “purpose.”
Our coaching, recommendations, and guidance dramatically impact the “health” of our client’s businesses and lives. It’s a responsibility none of us should ever take lightly.
Every professional, regardless of field, needs a “purpose” beyond a pay check. What’s yours?
Bob McCurdy is The Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group and can be reached at [email protected]