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    Taking a Horse to Water

    September 24, 2019

September 24, 2019

Taking a Horse to Water

Last week my 12-year-old daughter started secondary school. It was a new beginning for her, particularly as the school was brand new. My partner and I did all we could to prepare her – new uniform, new shoes and a refresh of the pencil case. We reminded her about the importance of education and a need to take responsibility for herself and her actions. But though we’ve done all we can to give her the tools to succeed, it will ultimately be up to her to get the most out of her education.

As Purple move into the final stages of preparing businesses for Purple Tuesday 2019, I can see some parallels, albeit on a more ‘grown-up’ level. Every business I have spoken to absolutely gets what Purple Tuesday is about and sees the potential value to their organisation. That’s because the narrative is powerful: improve your customer experience for disabled people and their families to access the disability market estimated at £249 billion a year (the Purple Pound).

But we still need to win the hearts and minds of business leaders against a backdrop of tough economic conditions on the high street and across all sectors. Recent figures show we are teetering on the edge of recession, and businesses are rightly cautious about making changes they might perceive as costly now, and having uncertain future gains.

But Purple Tuesday should play a part in the growth strategy of a business. It is not a campaign. It provides businesses with the knowledge and the tools to access a massive, but largely untouched, disability market and gain a competitive advantage over rival businesses. And the central solution is the raison d’etre of business – delivering an excellent customer experience that will drive greater volumes of loyal customers.

This year we have gone further to support businesses who sign up to Purple Tuesday, providing a wide range of resources and templates to help them work through their commitments and engage all stakeholders including staff and senior managers. Last year we created downloads for organisations to decorate their stores and offices with Purple Tuesday merchandise. This year we have added an online store to buy all the merchandise needed to turn businesses purple. And we have given organisations the opportunity for further brand alignment with Purple Tuesday through a range of sponsorship packages.

We’re going to make a huge noise about Purple Tuesday in the media too – we anticipate a level of broadcast and print coverage this year that will provide an unmissable opportunity to promote positive stories and increase the profile of participating businesses.

I am very encouraged to see repeat business. Organisations who got involved last year have signed up for more and have committed to greater stretching actions.

There are also some new entrants into the market – especially as this year Purple Tuesday is open to all sectors and organisations across hospitality, insurance, banking and tourism are getting involved. There are organisations of all shapes and sizes from large corporates to one-person micro enterprises determined to improve the customer experience. And disability has no borders as we are start to see sign-ups from organisation right across the world.

Getting Purple Tuesday right is a revenue earner and customer generative.  Organisations should see it as an opportunity and not simply one more thing to do.

Getting my daughter to see her weekend’s homework as an opportunity might be a slightly harder task!

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