What is Brand Purpose? In short, it’s why your company exists. Let’s say you start a tortilla chip company; you may think your purpose is to make money selling tortilla chips. But, after a certain amount of success, selling a product isn’t enough. You’ll want to convince consumers you aren’t some vapid corporate entity whose sole mission is money-grubbing. This is where a higher brand purpose can inspire a loyal following and stimulate growth.
Discovering Your Brand’s Purpose
Ask yourself some questions to bring your brand’s purpose to light.
- What is a pain point for your consumers?
- How can you address this pain point?
- Is this pain point related to your product and the company’s core values?
For example, in this overly corn-fed world full of high-fructose corn syrup and corn-fed beef, maybe your tortilla chip company could advocate for nutritional awareness. Or, add to the conversation of sustainable agriculture. If this sounds overwhelming, partnering with existing organizations can better illuminate just how your company can help. But, merely donating a percentage of tortilla chip sales to a cause is not what we’re after. Charity is easily sniffed out by consumers as a check off the corporate to-do list.
Brand Purpose and Its Company-Wide Impact
Not only does having a brand purpose make your company more human to consumers but also more attractive as a workplace. Brand purpose is to consumers what company culture is to employees. Together, they represent the company as a whole, making a huge impact on loyalty and retention on both sides.
Given the choice between tortilla chips with no purpose and tortilla chips solving world problems, which would you choose? Both employees and consumers want to feel like they’re doing something meaningful, even if it’s in some small way.
Active Ingredient: Authenticity
Your brand purpose needs to be clear and authentic to be effective. Saying one thing and doing another can have a devastating effect on your brand’s reputation. Pepsi’s infamous ad with Kendall Jenner handing a Pepsi to a police officer during a protest was largely interpreted as riding the coattails of the Black Lives Matter movement. If it’s not an issue your company is committed to solving, you’re better off doing nothing at all.
The way a company presents its brand purpose in action is just as powerful as the brand purpose itself. This is the difference between blatantly using your brand purpose as a sales gimmick and sharing your brand purpose as part of your brand story. Here, humility and tact become invaluable assets in your marketing strategy.
Putting It All Together…
Your brand purpose should be well thought out. It’s much better to be consistent than to be a fair-weather activist. Find a brand purpose that is relevant to your product and company. Then, never stop planning how to fulfill that purpose in new, effective ways. Your fans are always watching!