Meet a Member: Jonah Lewis
Jonah Lewis builds and markets purpose-driven brands, the latest of which is Mensch.club, a free end-to-end educational resource, launching soon, for professionals to build brands with purpose (properly!). Jonah dove into Brand Purpose in university and has been honing his skills across brand development, marketing and business to build well-loved brands with socially useful missions at their core.
Is there an aspect of operating “business as usual” that you are passionate about changing?
“I think it’s important to say here that things are changing. Not overnight, but they definitely are. This space of purpose is about changing ‘business as usual’ from the shareholder model to a stakeholder model. Purpose is the source code for making a success of the stakeholder model.
I want to help power that change so that eventually it’s simply the way you put together a business. Or at least the most popular way.”
Is purpose-driven business the future? If so, why?
“Purpose-driven business is the future. Frankly, it’s the present, too. People — not just customers, but employees, shareholders, suppliers, etc. — can have a very public say when it comes to brands and business, and they certainly do.
People have the power. They have it now, and they’ll have more of it as technology evolves; and along with it, accessibility to information. Purpose, and more widely, Stakeholder Capitalism, has long been dismissed, but these days, you’ve got to be a real cynic to not see why stakeholder capitalism is your best option for building a strong, successful business into the long term. In doing so, align stakeholders around a purpose and strategize creative and relevant ways for them to take part. Purpose is the best way we have to ensure that people’s actions move the brand in the right direction.”
What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to integrate purpose into their work?
“Know that purpose is not a marketing ploy. It’s a total management philosophy and framework that requires time spent understanding what it means to build a purpose-driven brand.
Many get bright eyed discovering a purpose, but don’t follow it up with the necessary work. You can’t just send out shiny messages to the world. That’s a huge risk. Purpose must be discovered, enabled and activated. Enablement is an internal job, requiring the business to implement sustainability measures across the value chain, and curate a relevant, safe and fair employee experience. Activation is mostly external, and involves the curation of key initiatives, partnerships with relevant organizations and then, last, but not least, the building of marketing that puts people in the drivers seat.
I’d advise people to do it properly. If they do, the results will speak for themselves.”
Jonah came across our community via the Purpose NOW workshop we ran in collaboration with HMD. Now he is looking to connect with more people and organizations that are serious about purpose to collaborate on the many challenges we face in transitioning ‘business as usual’ to be purpose-driven!
If you’re on a similar mission as Jonah Lewis be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn!