Whole Foods is another example of brand that is guided by purpose. Yesterday, I wrote about REI’s purpose which is to inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Today I am going to write about Whole Food’s whose purpose is to teach people that what they put in their bodies makes a difference, not only to their health and to the people who supply the food, but also to the health of the planet as a whole. Whole Foods is passionate about helping people to eat well, improve the quality of lives and to increase their lifespan. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has long been an advocate for the power of purpose in guiding a brand.
In his book “Conscious Capitalism” John Mackey talks about the importance of purpose for an organization. Mackey writes that Purpose is the definitive statement about the difference you are trying to make. “If you have a purpose and can articulate it with clarity and passion everything else flows”. A higher purpose gives great energy and relevance to a brand. From his perspective, purpose comes before formulating a strategy.
Whole Foods Market was founded in 1978 in Austin, Texas, when four local businesspeople decided the natural foods industry was ready for a supermarket format. Today Whole Foods has 343 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods generated close to $12 Billion in revenue in 2012
Whole Foods success can be traced to leadership who believed in the power of a common purpose to guide the organization. Like REI and the Container Store, Whole Foods has been on the Fortune Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For since 1998. There is a common theme here. Successful brands have a customer focused purpose and strong core values:
- Selling the highest quality natural and organic products
- Satisfying and delighting our customers
- Supporting team member excellence and happiness
- Creating wealth through profits and growth
- Caring about our communities and environment
- Creating ongoing win-win partnerships with our suppliers
- Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education