With time, conscious customers are changing how the market works. While deciding which brands to connect with, more and more customers today are concerned about more than just what products/services the business is offering. They care about the type of impact companies make in the world. While making a purchase decision, customers view brand purpose as a crucial factor nowadays. Therefore, if you ‘really’ wish to take your business to the next level, you need to have a sense of purpose – the one your target audience can genuinely relate to.
Having a potent brand purpose can distinguish your company from the crowd, believe it or not. Your brand purpose can make a significant impact on the way your company is perceived in the market, and it can also be the driving force behind your business’ success in the long run.
That being said, you might be wondering what exactly a brand purpose is? And why does it matter so much? How can you define, build and market a brand purpose that feels legit to who you are and what you do and establishes a genuine relationship with your target consumers in the process?
Without wasting a moment, let’s take a deep dive into the details.
What Is Brand Purpose?
Before jumping into the importance of brand purpose and how you can develop your brand purpose from scratch, we must understand what brand purpose is first of all.
Fundamentally, brand purpose can be defined as a brand’s reason for existence, apart from turning a profit, of course. However, we must not mix it up with a ‘brand promise.’ While a brand promise might give the customers an idea of what s/he should expect from the product/service, a brand purpose goes way beyond this. It connects with the buyers on a much more emotional level. Similarly, although there are a few similarities, brand purpose and social purpose are not the same either. To clear this up: the brand purpose is about product-led initiatives which aim to achieve business and benefit society at the same time.
Why Does Brand Purpose Matter?
Now that we have discussed the definition of brand purpose let’s move on to why is it so crucial?
Having a brand purpose makes you irresistible to the target audience you want to serve. It is quite simple, if truth be told. Customers are fascinated by the idea that the money they are spending can actually do a lot more than just helping them obtain products or services. It can make them feel as if they are part of a bigger effort – a movement that can bring a positive change.
You need to have a brand purpose today as it helps you show your prospects (and existing customers as well) that your company is a lot more than just about its products, services, or marketing campaigns. Your brand has a powerful purpose, and it is greater than just making money.
An emerging generation of customers seeks brands to stand up for something greater than the products or services they sell. They want companies to personify a moving ideology, present a powerful viewpoint and take measures to make a difference in the world.
These are a few key advantages that come with having a brand purpose:
- It can add value to not only your consumers’ life but also society altogether.
- It can help establish a more emotional bond between your brand and its customers, which in turn can help increase sales and consumer loyalty.
- Having a unique brand purpose can help you set your company apart from the competition.
How Is Your Brand Purpose Different From Your Brand Mission, Vision, and Values?
Till now, we have clarified what brand purpose ‘is,’ but it is also essential to discuss what it ‘isn’t.’
Your brand purpose is not your brand mission, vision, and values. Undoubtedly, they are related; in fact, they build off each other. However, if your brand mission, vision, and values are the constituents of your company, consider your brand purpose as its base.
To clarify things:
- Your vision tells where your brand is going.
- Your mission defines how it will reach there.
- Values determine how it will act along the road.
All of them are inwardly focused and portray you talking about your company. While they are crucial to define, they aren’t as influential as your brand purpose.
In essence, your brand purpose is the bigger reason why you do what you do. Therefore, your purpose should stand above your mission, vision, or values, informing and leading them. Moreover, unlike these, your brand purpose is outwardly focused and defines the impact you’ll make in someone’s life, in a community, or maybe even in the world. It is what helps your target audience understand how your brand serves them as well as the whole world. Plus, it paves the way for you to invite them along to seek the bigger purpose you have defined for your brand.
How to Define, Build and Market Your Brand Purpose?
Now that we know what brand purpose is and isn’t, it’s time to discuss how you can define, build and market your brand purpose. Let’s go!
Define Your Why
In order to discover your unique brand purpose, the first step is to define your ‘why.’ And that is best done by asking a few profound questions to yourself.
While defining your brand purpose, you need to ask yourself these three main questions:
- What you’re best at
- What you’re passionate about
- What the world needs (what difference you can make)
Answering these three questions will provide you with some valuable insights into what drives your brand. This can also help you spot areas that may be out of alignment.
Nevertheless, ensure that your answers align. For example, if you find something that you are passionate about and have also spotted the difference you could make, but it isn’t something you are good at, you need to keep looking for more answers until they align.
It might take a lot of effort for you to find how your talent, passion, and ability to make a difference align, but that’s precisely where you will come across your brand purpose.
Build Your ‘Brand Purpose’ Into Your Brand
Once you define your brand purpose, next, you need to build it into your brand. Start by building it into your team first.
First of all, you need to focus on your team and make sure each and every member believes in your brand purpose. You need to help them understand and get excited about it.
As soon as your whole team gets on board with your brand purpose, they can bring that sense of purpose into their work daily. Your brand purpose will appear in your marketing, communications, designs, and so on. When your entire team is aligned with your unique brand purpose, it will be instilled in all your business operations.
Market Your Brand Purpose and Use It To Take Your Business To the Next Level
Once you have successfully aligned your team with your brand purpose (and it has been infused in everything you do), you need to start ascertaining how you are going to introduce your purpose to the world or to clarify – how you will market your brand purpose?
When it comes down to marketing your brand purpose, there is no one-size-fits-all kind of method. The most beneficial strategies will rely on your business model, the products/services you offer, and your target customers. Nevertheless, there are still a couple of best practices you should bear in mind while marketing your brand purpose.
#1 Utilize Your Brand Purpose Strategically
As we discussed above, your brand purpose will be instilled in literally everything your business does, but that does not imply you should bombard your customers with it at each turn. When it comes to marketing your brand purpose effectively, you should contemplate how to use it strategically and how that shifts as your target audience converts from a potential customer to a first-time customer to a return customer.
This transition from being a prospect to a return customer is a journey, and your brand purpose plays a significant part in that. Now when your prospect comes across your business for the very first time, your brand purpose might be a crucial component of why s/he is drawn to your company. However, when they are in the decision-making stage and weighing up multiple options, they might be more interested in the practical details of what you are offering.
For instance, it probably sounds logical to put your brand purpose front and center on your website’s homepage, which is the first place your prospects are likely to come across your business. However, it might also sound logical to take a softer approach as that prospect continues to browse through your site, such as on your product/service pages.
The crucial point to note here is that your brand purpose never vanishes at any stage during the entire customer journey, but it becomes a matter of whether it plays the lead role or supporting role in your brand story.
#2 Take a Stand
Having a brand purpose is one thing and supporting that purpose is another.
Remember, customers are not dumb, so merely spelling out your purpose is not enough.
If you want your target audience to trust you genuinely, you should be willing to stand up for your brand purpose even when it is challenging.
Today’s customers expect brands to take the first step, and it isn’t just about responding to the current news cycle. Instead, it is about knowing where you stand and holding your ground when problems emerge.
You will find plenty of examples where big brands stood behind their brand purpose, and even though it seemed like they made a mistake in the beginning, eventually, this paid off tremendously. Take Nike, for example.
The point is that when it comes to marketing your brand purpose, putting your money where your mouth is has proved to be one of the most effective strategies of all time. When your audience sees that your brand means what it says and that your brand purpose is genuinely the driving force behind everything it does, they are compelled to engage with you.
#3 Start a Movement
Getting other people to participate is undoubtedly one of the best ways to market your brand purpose.
To make your brand relevant to the people, you need to welcome more and diverse voices to the table, use co-intelligence to solve problems together, and rally customers and employees alike to take action as a brand. Moreover, a purpose-led movement can be incredibly impactful when brands collaborate and invite their peers and competitors to participate for the sake of bringing a positive change in society.
Starting a movement and getting your target audience involved in it is an excellent way to market your brand purpose. Plus, it helps them get more invested in your brand.
Wrapping It Up
A clearly defined brand purpose will keep you going even when things get inescapably challenging. Having a brand purpose gives a profound sense of meaning to everything your company does and makes the everyday problems of managing a business worthwhile. Now you have everything you need to know. What are you waiting for now? It’s time to go out there, find your brand purpose, and use it to make an impact in the world (and also take your brand to the next level along the way).