Brand Purpose is good for business, here's why! -tbpmx featuring Gad Núñez
What exactly is a brand purpose? Why should you care? And how can you define and market a brand purpose that is authentic to you and your consumers?
Simon Sinek, a British-American author, and speaker said in a Ted Talk: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Though he said this 11 years ago, his theory could not be more accurate today. According to Accenture, 62% of consumers support brands that stand up for issues they are passionate about, while 66% of consumers are drawn to brands that lead with transparency. So, while people may enjoy the product or service you provide, times are in fact changing, and as social consciousness has elevated, choosing one brand over another boils down to how consumers are seeking brands that are “true to its consumers, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves.” Says Dr. Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist who helps brands and marketing agencies understand and influence consumer behavior.
With this in mind, we beg the question: What exactly is a brand purpose? Why should you care? And how can you define and market a brand purpose that is authentic to you and your consumers?
Your Purpose is your North Star
Brands are built by humans and are built for humans, therefore people connect with your brands much as they do with other humans through shared values, promises, and stories. By personifying your brand, your business is connected with your customer ultimately creating loyalty and trust. In other words, “a brand purpose represents your reason for being and what you stand for above all else,…” says Raphael Bemporad, founding partner of BBMG.
Often referred to as the “North Star” of branding or marketing, the need for a brand purpose is clearly beyond dispute. And as social consciousness elevates, as does our need for brands that take a stand, and lead with purpose versus their product benefits. Precisely why I try to design with this motto in mind “Creating brands with Purpose”, which leads us to the next question:
Why do/should I care?
Well, for starters if you’re asking, you’ve just skipped the previous paragraph. If brands are made by people for people, and nowadays people only have loyalty for a brand that shares their values, then it’s safe to say that your brand purpose is arguably the most vital institutional function. Now that I have your attention, let’s discuss how to redefine your purpose and share it with your target.
Defining your Brand Purpose:
1.Understanding your ‘Why’. Arguably the most important step in the process, your ‘why’ is the reason you exist. Establishing trust with your customer, and ultimately why they choose you over your competitor boils down to understanding your ‘why’. Patagonia, an upscale outdoor clothing brand, is a great example of a brand that leads with its ‘why’. As a leader in sustainable production and environmental activism, they are “in the business to save our home planet”. We took a closer look to see how this was implemented, and surely enough, not only do they lead in environmental activism, but also warn consumers to “think twice” before purchasing from them, further strengthening their positioning as a sustainable, trustworthy, and purpose-driven brand.
2. Connect your mission and vision to your why.
As eloquently put by Brian Soy at Aespire branding agency, “the purpose guides you, the mission drives you and the vision is what you aspire to impact.”
Sure, it’s important to have a purpose, but your mission and your vision show you where you are, and where you’re going. As a leading example, Ben & Jerry’s purpose is to make delicious ice cream, their mission is to use their business to make the world a better place, and their vision is to use ice cream to change the world. Not only are they the leaders in delicious ice-cream making, but have helped consumers to link directly to petitions and donation sites to support causes they deem needs changing, thus solidifying their positioning as a high-impact purpose-driven brand that people can get behind.
Is differentiation the key to authenticity?
Moreover, as we work closely with brands in the hospitality segment, we pay close attention to travel trends in a pre & post Covid-19 world, and one of the biggest trends are consumers seeking more sustainably driven experiences and products. And while brands like Patagonia, TOMS, and Ben & Jerry take the lead with their brand purpose, we’ve seen countless examples of brands in places like Tulum who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
Elie Wiesel, a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor, once said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” While the subject of branding was not at all related to the context of this quote, I think about it a lot in the brand strategy work I do. I believe that the most important question brand leaders should answer, at the foundation of their brand strategy, is “Why should people care about your brand?”, with an emphasis on “care”.
Needless to say, a Brand Purpose is a fundamental part of any successful brand in this day and age. It all comes down to defining your “why” and connecting it to the mission and vision of the brand. Once this is clear and the brand is true to itself, in other words authentic, the brand should unfold effortlessly.