Inside LaunchStreet Billee Howard

Why Purpose is as Important as Product

I was sitting in the common area of the WeWork, where we office, and I overheard the most fascinating conversation. They were talking about how they were struggling because it felt like nothing was behind the curtain in business anymore, that the customer wanted to know everything about you — not just if you had a good product or service, but everything — the good, the bad, and definitely the ugly. And you know what, they are right. Transparency is a must if a business wants to thrive. So, that’s why I asked Billee Howard to come on Inside LaunchStreet and share her insights. She is the author of We Commerce — an incredible book about the new economy and Founder + CEO of BRANDthropologie Media, a firm identifies the most powerful collision point of culture and commerce for each client to create captivating story-driven experiences that drive emotional and authentic engagement. I think you’ll find our discussion — around what it looks like to thrive in the We Economy and why having a purpose is as important as a product — valuable. I thought our convo about why the heart matters more than the mind was super insightful.


Listen now to this episode on Inside LaunchStreet:



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Key Takeaways:

[2:24] You might be surprised to know that Billee creates in the kitchen while listening to the music that a seventy-year-old man would enjoy.

[3:51] Billee specializes in harnessing creativity to solve business problems. How is using creativity different in solving problems?

[5:26] Find out why Billee believes that storytelling and creativity are the currency of business in the new economy.

[7:24] Listen is as Billee talks about the ‘me’ to the ‘we’ shift in business strategies. Get introduced to Billee’s definition of a ‘we’ economy.

[9:30] Why is storytelling more important than ever? People no longer want to have just transactions with brands. They want to have interactions and experiences. Tamara reminds listeners that it’s easy to get the transaction done, but you have to be more thoughtful to build an interaction.

[12:04] Why do businesses often stop short of emotional satisfaction? Billee shares that Seventh Generation is delivering on their business purpose. They are leaving the world better than they found it for seven generations to come. Toms Shoes is also hitting it out of the park with the meaningful interaction they play in the community.

[15:25] Is there a connection to your team internalizing your business purpose and bringing creative ideas to the table? Culture is everything today.

[18:09] Tamara shares that Inside Launchstreet holds a quarterly campfire where they eat S’mores and share stories. This has created a powerful ‘we’ culture.

[19:47] Billee talks about using the power of technology with the creativity side of marketing. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity to connect customer emotion to brand performance. Brands have a fifty percent increased likelihood of achieving the desired outcome if they infuse emotions into the process. Empathy is a critical component in everything that you put forward to the world.

[22:04] Tamara talks about growing up in a workplace where emotions were checked in at the door. She shares a story about her friend experiencing a powerful negative emotional reaction to a brand. Billee believes that business can no longer remain emotionless. Consumers want a brand to believe in.

[25:21] How do you drive engagement with your customer’s heart?

[27:00] Brands have become emotionally illiterate. People have not had a need for emotional literacy. Tamara and Billee talk about both Pepsi and Dove faux pas.

[29:13] Businesses consult Billee when they realize that purpose is no longer a marketing ploy. Purpose is a critical thing that needs to define a company’s future. The goal is to best capture customer emotion and connect with it in a way that’s going to really drive performance.

[31:31] Find out how did Billee became an IBM futurist. Tamara thinks that Billee’s archetype is instinctual collaborative on the IQE Assessment.

[33:49] Connect with Billie at Brandthropologie, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter.

[34:11] Billee introduces her book, We Commerce. She believes that you must have an appetite for change and disruption in order to be successful. Collaboration must be a part of business strategy. To be the best in the world, you must constantly push yourself to a place that you are uncomfortable.

[36:00] Tamara reminds listeners that ‘we’ commerce is not a flavor of the month. It’s how we should be doing business. Your purpose should be infused in everything that you do.

[37:30] Tamara asks listeners to write a review on iTunes if you find value in listening to InsideLaunchstreet.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Brandthropologie Homepage

We Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy,
by Billee Howard


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