Brand purpose is the reason for the brand to exist beyond making money. A truly purposeful brand will derive its purpose from the product or the service itself. Spotify is a good example. Their mission is to “unlock the potential of human creativity – by giving millions of creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by these creators.”
Purposeful brands must be trustworthy and must act in a responsible and ethical way. A purposeful brand should be innovative and have a vision or big idea for the future (and be relevant for the future). Going back to the example of Spotify – the company has been listed as one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company.
Having a written purpose doesn’t automatically make your brand purposeful. After all, a brand is what your customers say about your firm – it’s defined by the customers and what they say about your business. Having a purpose is important but how well you derive value from it and how well integrated it is within your organisation are the keys to creating a purposeful brand.
There are significant competitive advantages to building a purposeful brand. Purposeful brands differentiate themselves through building and delivering consistently better customer experiences. This, in turn, creates loyal customers who come back to the same brand again and again for repeat purchases.
Understand your customers
To build a purposeful brand, you need to truly understand who your customers are, what motivates them and how that intersects with your brand. For example, this might involve your brand taking on social or environmental issues because these are what matter to your customers.
Once you have identified the key issues that your brand will align itself to, you must ensure consistency in establishing a sense of purpose both inside and outside your firm.
Another significant benefit of brand purpose is the impact that it has on a business’s ability to attract talented employees. People want to work for brands that have a clear vision and a sense of purpose – they want their work to have greater meaning than a pay cheque and they want to feel like their work is helping to make a positive impact on the world around them.
Build around benefits
Creating a purposeful brand is a long term objective. People buy benefits not brands. By building your brand around the benefits that you promise to customers rather than the products or services that you make, you will be able to elevate your brand beyond the competition. A good example of this is TOMS, who built their brand around giving one pair of shoes to charity, for every pair that is purchased by a customer. They make and sell shoes, but their purpose is to make shopping for shoes a charitable action. This helped them to build a purposeful brand that resulted in loyal customers, which drove the success of the business.
Do you have anymore tips on creating a purposeful brand? We’d love to hear your thoughts over on our LinkedIn page.