Brand purpose – a renewed hope
Brand purpose explained in its simplest form is the reason for a brand to exist beyond making money. Often mixed with brand mission and vision that define what you need to do to reach your goals and how you will get there, purpose is your why. Without it, a business can’t be sustainable in today’s ever-changing world.
Brand purpose is the fifth “P” of your marketing mix.
It seems that every market research report has the same insight: Consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that are diverse, sustainable, ethical and have a true purpose. According to Accenture, 62 per cent of consumers want companies to stand up for the issues they are passionate about and 66 per cent of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities for a brand. Companies continue to strive for differentiation in overcrowded industries, with a belief that being purpose-driven earns customer loyalty.
However, brands should avoid standing out just for the sake of it. Purpose must be born from a place of passion and truth. It’s about finding a way to be relevant to people in need of your products or services and providing them with something to hold onto that goes beyond pricing and packaging. It’s about finding what you are willing to fight for.
A purpose-driven brand is powerful because it solves real problems for real people.
Patagonia epitomizes what it means to be purpose-driven. The company has been built on a philosophy of making the best products, causing no unnecessary harm to the planet, and using profits to implement changes to restore natural environments. Patagonia has demonstrated to the business world how to stand up for the planet and speak truth to power.
Purpose cannot be an afterthought.
If brand purpose is considered as nothing more than an afterthought, your customers will recognize that lack of effort. When there is a disconnect between the role and purpose of a brand, it can run the risk of causing damage to a brand’s image. It is believed that a portion of younger consumers are already sceptical of brand purpose, believing that brands join social justice conversations to influence profit only.
It’s worth considering the reasons why purpose was created: To let brands have a more robust conversation with consumers who are evolving and demanding more? To stand for something greater than themselves? To emotionally connect in a deeper and more meaningful way?
Beyond considering the why, brands should look to what’s next. Is there too much talk, and not enough action when it comes to purpose?
Coming up next: An article explaining why purpose matters
Stay tuned for three more blog posts that will dig deeper into the value of brand purpose, its worth and how it can be used to guide you.
Kristina Koprivica, Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Strategy, Kruger Products L.P.
Mike Leon, Managing Director, Brand Heroes
Justin Haberman, Vice President, Client Services, Elemental
Bruce Symbalisty, Strategic Director, Reality Engine