Using Simple Ideals to Create Powerful Communication

I love the work of Jim Stengel, brand consultant, educator and former Global Marketing Director for Proctor & Gamble.

In his book Grow Jim talks about his findings that the fastest growing companies over the last several decades have been companies who at their core have a single ideal that drives everything they do.

This ideal, which is expressed not only through their product or service, but also through company culture, falls into one of five areas of human values.

These are:

  1. Eliciting Joy: Activating experiences of happiness, wonder, and limitless possibility
  2. Enabling Connection: Enhancing the ability of people to connect with one another and the world in meaningful ways.
  3. Inspiring Exploration: Helping people explore new horizons and new experiences
  4. Evoking Pride: Giving people increased confidence, strength, security, and vitality
  5. Impacting Society: Affecting society broadly, including by challenging the status quo and redefining categories

Coca Cola, for example, focuses on the ideal of eliciting joy. Starbucks focuses on the ideal of enabling connection.

While Jim worked largely with global brands, I believe his ideas are applicable to any type of endeavor large or small.

When I first began exploring which ideal Brand School would focus on, I immediately thought of enabling connection because at our core, our work is about communication. But as I dove deeper, I realized that my real purpose is impacting society.

I looked at the arc of my life and the things I have always valued not only in my work, but also in the art I created and actions I’ve consistently taken. I quickly realized that throughout my career what I’ve always pursued is having an impact. While in most instances the impact I pursued was not global, there was always a sense of challenging the status quo, defying authority or redefining rules.

That’s why I’ve committed Brand School to the ideal of impacting society by empowering entrepreneurs to express their purpose in the world by mastering their communication and growing their business.

To me, an army of change-makers challenging norms, expressing worthy ideals, and getting in touch with their best selves is the only way we as a society can overcome the challenges we will face in the near future.

Of course any successful endeavor can touch on more than one ideal, but by committing to a single core purpose you can express your message much more powerfully and effectively.

What ideal will you express through your endeavors?