The Power of Brand Purpose: Why Your Brand Needs a Meaningful Why
In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive world, simply offering quality products and services is no longer enough to attract and retain customers. Consumers are increasingly seeking out brands that align with their values and beliefs to motivate their purchases. And this is when having a true and meaningful brand purpose makes the difference. Having a genuine brand purpose helps you connect with your customers on a deeper level, building a sense of trust and loyalty. It builds a strong basis for the relationship between you and your customers, which helps you differentiate yourself and make a real impact.
Ok, but what is brand purpose?
Brand purpose is all about creating a meaningful why for your company. It is the core reason explaining why your company exists and what is the positive impact it has on the world. There is often a misconception about brand purpose being only about sustainability or social responsibility. But this is not true, it can be anything that your company believes in and wants to stands for, whether it’s challenging the status quo, inspiring people to become athletes, or promoting body positivity.
Take the example of TED, the company holding conferences all around the world. TED’s “why” is very simple; share ideas worth being spread and inspire people. It is their genuine objective as a company to have a positive impact on people’s life, which makes them unique. This purpose drives everything that TED does and has enabled it to create a community of engaged and curious individuals who share its values.
“What if I start a campaign to promote gender equality? Is that having a brand purpose?”. Well, actually … not really. Brand purpose is not just a marketing slogan or a mission statement. It goes much deeper than that. While your brand strategy is your plan to accomplish your brand ambitions and goals, your brand purpose is the reason why you have those specific ambitions, it is why you exist. So it really goes beyond the marketing campaigns you launch, it is your reason for being.
The DO’s and DON’Ts of brand purpose
To create an authentic brand purpose, it needs to be genuine. And to do so, there are some DO’s and DON’Ts that companies should follow.
- DO start with a genuine desire to make a positive impact on the world and DON’T create a purpose just because it sounds good or because it’s trendy. You will come across as inauthentic or even insincere, which can turn off customers quickly.
- DO integrate the purpose into every aspect of the company’s operations and culture and DON’T treat it as just a marketing slogan or a box to tick. For example, a company that claims to be committed to sustainability should take concrete steps to reduce its environmental impact.
- DO communicate your brand purpose clearly and consistently to your stakeholders and DON’T adapt your purpose based on your different customers. Without a clear understanding of your brand purpose, customers, employees, and partners may be left confused or unengaged. Be transparent about your purpose and how it guides your business decisions.
Patagonia is an excellent example of a purpose-native company that has successfully integrated its brand purpose into its day-to-day operations. The company’s brand purpose is to build the best product and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. By taking proactive measures to decrease its environmental effect, such as employing sustainable materials in its products and reducing waste in its operations, Patagonia has demonstrated that it takes its purpose seriously. Patagonia’s brand purpose is not just a marketing slogan; it is a genuine commitment to making a positive impact on the world, and the company’s actions reflect this commitment.
On the other hand, an example of a company that failed to live up to its brand purpose is Pepsi’s infamous Kendall Jenner ad. The ad, which showed Jenner handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer during a protest, was widely criticized for trivializing social justice movements. While Pepsi’s mission is to “create more smiles”, the ad was seen as opportunistic and inauthentic. This example shows that a brand purpose that is not genuine can come across as inauthentic and have a direct impact on customers’ perception of the brand.
Why is brand purpose so important?
Let’s face it, consumers expect more than just products and services from brands. They are becoming more aware of their daily choices and making more meaningful decisions. In fact, around 2/3 of consumers buy or advocate for brands based on their beliefs and values2. Brands that show a clear and meaningful purpose – while being genuine about it – will attract and retain loyal customers who share those same beliefs and values. It will be easier for them to stay loyal to the brand since they will rely to it.
But it’s in fact not just about attracting customers. Brand purpose can also help create a sense of community and connection. Despite being more digitally connected than ever, many of us are looking to strengthen our connections with others, including brands. Brands that promote a sense of community, honesty, and empowerment can help foster these connections and build lasting relationships with their customers.
So now you know it, brand purpose is not just a buzzword or a trend; it is the reason why your company exists and it should be embedded in everything you do, from product packaging to logistics. It should not only be part of your brand strategy but on your whole company agenda. By defining your brand’s core reason for being you can attract and retain loyal customers who share your values and beliefs. By doing so you also help create a sense of community and connection that fosters lasting relationships with your customers, while having the impact you want to have on society. As a ripple effect, and only if your brand purpose is well developed, you will see a positive impact on your profits.
So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to define your brand purpose. Reach out to us to find out about our brand purpose inspiration session for more insights and examples.