8 ways to move your purpose from words to action

Jim Moriarty
4 min readAug 9, 2021
Making a vision tangible: 1 billion people have disabilities. ThisAbles (3D-printed product hacks) delivers on Ikea’s vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people.” Image/more: Ikea ThisAbles

If you’re reading this, you probably have your fingerprints on a brand. You are at the forefront of a movement of brands to champion their role in society. How do we make this practical?

1. Endlessly study innovation — know what it takes to deserve credit

Every day I hear something to this effect: we do lots of things but we aren’t getting any credit. I think to myself, “they don’t deserve credit, because what you’ve done (while it may be good for society) is not a leadership move.”

We need to be better partners with our clients and tell them with specificity what it takes to be a leader in their industry. We need to study, understand, and stay current on what it takes to break through.

Case in point, Savage X Fenty.

Rihanna is a massive amplifier, yet this idea is even larger than her. Savage X Fenty consistently pushes a spirit of innovation. Their comms strategy delivers frictionless access to fashion. The brand embraces an inclusive orientation that makes everyone feel welcome. And the collaboration’s product roadmap proactively embraces an underserved market.

To break through, study how other brands are doing so. Start here.

2. Demand actions first, then words

The old cliché, “actions speak louder than words,” is a truism that applies to brands.

We are the sculptors of how brands live in the world. Let’s advance our briefs to deliver more than traditional and modern communications. Let’s become champions of meaningful consumer engagement and actual, defendable, measurable impact.

3. Use an objective system to prioritize the most valuable actions

Success is not simply “doing something,” since actions come in many forms.

Without an objective way of prioritizing, we default to “success = action” when this is absolutely not the case (see #1).