Advice from Musician and Entrepreneur Will.i.am: It’s not about the product; It’s about the purpose and a mission.

Will.i.am jumped into the tech entrepreneurial ring this week announcing the new smartphone, PULS, which he said over and over again was not a watch (But it really is a watch…and more). His presentation was all too familiar:

The dark clothing;

The simple messaging;

The sleek and sexy product;

The line-up of celebrity and corporate endorsements;

More importantly, he went beyond what I always call ‘the message’. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the words your PR specialist has told you to stick with no matter what the question. Always bring it back to the message of your brand, who you are, and the features of your product, right?

Wrong.

What Will.i.am did so effectively was to go beyond the product and speak about the purpose and the mission. It’s something that Steve Jobs nailed.

It’s something to consider as you market your product. What is your purpose? What is your mission? That’s the secret to creating a strong brand.

Below is my interview with Will.i.am at DREAMFORCE, in its entirety. His story is amazing.

One interesting fact I’d like to point out is that he grew up in the projects and his mom sent him off on a one-hour long bus ride every day to a better neighborhood to attend school. She dressed him in a full suit every single day telling him it was a reminder that he was there to work, not play. She didn’t just want him to succeed, she expected it. And he, thereby, did as well. And now he’s giving back to his neighborhood. That’s where his purpose and his mission comes in, and we kept coming back that during the interview.

Take a look:

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