Brand Purpose 101: Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Your brand exists for a reason and a reason beyond simply making a profit or pleasing shareholders (though these factors are important, too). This is your brand purpose – the “why” behind your company – and increasingly, brands are examining, analyzing, and improving their approach to brand purpose strategy.

Why is brand purpose so important? And how can you optimize your own brand purpose?

The Value of Brand Purpose

It doesn’t take much effort to find prominent examples of brand purpose strategy in action. All over the world, companies are attempting to redefine and emphasize their brand purpose, better aligning with the needs of modern consumers and selling more products and services in the process.

The value of brand purpose unfolds across many areas, including:

  •       Consumer appeals. For most brands, the most important element of brand purpose is appealing to target demographics. Today’s consumers are more educated, more ethical, and more discerning than ever before. 

For example, if a customer feels passionate about environmentalism, they may selectively choose brands with environmentally sustainable practices over those that don’t make any extra effort. If you can better align your brand purpose with the wants and needs of your most important customers, you’ll sell more and win more loyalty.

  •       Brand authenticity and consistency. Brand purpose is also an important part of authenticity and consistency. If you have a clear and specific definition of what your brand purpose is, you’ll be able to use it to fuel your marketing and advertising strategies. Over time, customers will view your brand as being more authentic, and your marketing campaigns will grow to become more effective. On top of that, having a brand purpose that extends beyond profitability or shareholder value makes your company stand out in the field of superficially motivated competitors.
  •       Internal workforce dynamics. It’s not just about your customers or shareholders either; it’s about your internal team dynamics. When your leaders, managers, and employees are all aligned with a common vision for why this company exists and how it can do good in the world, everyone will be able to work together more fluidly and consistently. Your employees can be more productive, happier, and more fulfilled by their work.
  •       Genuine social benefits. Don’t forget that having a brand purpose can also lead to genuine social benefits. Achieving more sustainable practices can help the environment and beautify it for generations to come. Relieving poverty in struggling areas can lead to greater prosperity overall. Practicing more diverse and inclusive hiring can facilitate social justice and equality.

How to Create, Promote, and Improve Your Brand Purpose

So what steps do you need to take to create, promote, and improve your brand purpose?

  •       Learn the basics. Brand purpose often stems from corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. If you’re unsure where to begin, the fundamentals of CSR are an excellent starting point. You should understand why brand purpose is so important, how to incorporate brand purpose into your company, and some of the most common ways that major companies attempt to practice social responsibility.
  •       Study the competition. Pay close attention to what your competitors are doing. Do your competitors have an established brand purpose and is it obvious in their marketing and advertising materials? Sharing a common purpose could be an easy way to appeal to a similar audience, but it’s also a good idea to competitively differentiate yourself in some way; do something different if you can.
  •       Understand your audience. There are many ways to approach market research, but whatever your methodology, you need to understand who your audience is. What are their goals? What are their passions? Which causes our most important to them and how can you win their sympathy and support? Devise a brand purpose strategy that works for this specific audience, rather than a general one.
  •       Start with a vision. Instead of getting caught up in ground-level tactics, start with an overarching vision. What kind of world are you trying to create with your brand? Is it a cleaner one? A more egalitarian one? One that brings economic prosperity to the communities that need it the most? If you already have a vision statement for your company, this should be easy for you.
  •       Experiment and analyze. At this point, you’ll be ready to conduct some tests. Experiment with different brand purpose and positioning strategies to see how they resonate with members of your target audience. Are there certain messages or initiatives that evoke better reactions than others?
  •       Take action. Finally, take genuine action to support your brand purpose – and show off those actions. Donating money to a good cause, changing your procedures, and volunteering for a nonprofit organization are just some of the ways you can do this.

With a solidified and specific brand purpose in place for your company, you’ll be able to craft better messaging, appeal to more customers, and even strengthen the integrity of the business itself. 

With consumers becoming more educated and more passionate about important causes, a brand purpose strategy will only become more important from here.

Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash