Turning Transformation into Growth: Uniting Purpose and Strategy with one narrative - For a Thriving World
Last year the energy sector witnessed profound changes, pushing Fortum, a Nordic energy company, to redefine its purpose and strategic direction. Partnering with Knowit (formerly Marketing Clinic), Fortum embarked on a journey to merge purpose and strategy into a one clear, singular narrative – starting from the purpose to guide their corporate strategy, enhance their brand, and engage stakeholders effectively.
Foundation for the one narrative: Purpose as a guiding star
Successful transformations have a clear sense of purpose. For Fortum, the purpose was to be defined by their determination to work towards a world where there is a healthy balance between the well-being of people and nature, the needs of societies, and the success of businesses.
Together with a strong commitment across the organization, the shared purpose was summarized into an ambitious statement:
To power a world where people, businesses and nature thrive together.
As Fortum states, everything they do and all decisions they make will originate from the purpose - contribution to the realization of a thriving world. It guided their strategy work, leading them to set more ambitious sustainability targets, that extend beyond climate neutrality and take a firm stand in protecting biodiversity.
For Fortum, the purpose is not a mere slogan; it became the foundation upon which their entire transformation is built. Importantly, A thriving world encompasses all stakeholders, acknowledging the interconnectedness of people, businesses, customers, employees, investors, governments, and the environment.
Brand bringing the purpose and strategy alive
With a clearly defined purpose and strategy in place, the next step was to bring them to life through the brand. Every aspect of the brand, from the positioning and promise to employer value proposition, and to all brand activation and tracking, was carefully designed to support and amplify the purpose-driven one narrative.
The culmination of the transformation was the unveiling of Fortum's new brand promise and tagline: "Powering a thriving world." The tagline succinctly captured the essence of Fortum's purpose – and the core of the one narrative. Aki Koskinen, Director, Brand and Reputation, expressed the significance of this moment, highlighting the warmth and cooperation that surrounded the purpose’s and brand's relaunch.
The One Narrative: Keys to Success
Implementing the one narrative logic, which integrates purpose, strategy, and brand, requires a well-defined roadmap and commitment from all stakeholders.
Here are five key pillars that ensure the success of this approach:
- Ownership of the brand: Commit the top management to have an ownership of the brand.
- Commitment: The implementation of both strategy and brand starts by committing all levels of the organization – from the leadership team to front-line employees. The One Narrative should be integrated with the company culture and decision-making processes.
- Communication: Brand can be the key connection between communicating strategy internally and externally, fostering understanding, engagement, and alignment.
- ESG: Embed ESG principles to the core of One Narrative and brand.
- Consistency: One narrative logic helps to maintain consistency in messaging and branding across all touchpoints. This reinforces the narrative and builds trust with stakeholders.
- Engaging partners: Engaging external partners in the work from early stages ensures common goals and meaningful results.
Fortum's journey through the transformation to ensuring future’s growth serves as a powerful example of how a clear and purpose-driven, one narrative can guide an organization through change and uncertainty. By uniting purpose and strategy, Fortum has not only revitalized its brand but also created a roadmap for the future. The one narrative approach, underpinned by commitment, communication, ESG integration, consistency, and partnerships, can be a blueprint for success in any industry, turning continuous transformation into a force for positive impact.