How to establish your brand’s purpose
When you know the reason your brand exists, you will understand what your purpose is. And making money isn’t a purpose, it’s a product of what you do or sell. Your purpose is more than this. When we work with clients, they usually fall into three categories – those that have their purpose nailed and it is clear to everyone (these are the rare ones), those that think their purpose is one thing, but after some investigation quickly realise it must be something else, and those that haven’t established their purpose at all (the most common).
There are different ways to get to the heart of what your brand stands for, and we use tried and tested methods to achieve this. But it all starts with that very simple question – what do you stand for? If you know what this is, you’re off to a winning start. And if you don’t, agencies like ours can help you get to the bottom of it. But if you’re a brand that thinks you know your purpose, but you’re not following through on it – this is where you’re in dangerous waters. Trying to establish a purpose for the sake of it and jumping on the ‘purpose bandwagon’ is, in our opinion, worse than having no purpose at all. For one, consumers will see right through it and you risk damaging your brand beyond repair.
Why purpose is important to today’s consumer
When it’s time to speak up
When it comes to social and political issues, the way your brand responds to these can have a major impact on how your brand is perceived. That’s why, as we’ve already alluded to, it is imperative that your brand isn’t seen to be jumping on a band wagon and speaking out about a subject that has no relevance to your brand’s purpose. In this case, you’ll just be adding to the noise and your audience will quickly see through it as meaningless and disingenuous.
If it is a topic that is close to your brand purpose, or aligns with your brand values, then your followers will expect you to speak out. But again, there still has to be some care taken when considering your approach – the way you handle such situations could be detrimental to your brand. However, if you get this right, you could win more favour with your current customers and attract new followers to your brand. Finally, it’s important to make sure you are adding value to a conversation or making positive steps to improve the situation.
Striking the right tone
Using storytelling to convey your beliefs
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to convey your purpose in an authentic way. Telling the story of your brand – why you exist and what you believe in – will help to showcase your values and drive deeper connections with consumers. And authenticity is key. When it comes to brand purpose, anything that feels dishonest or disingenuous will be rejected immediately. So, when you’re telling the story of your brand, it needs to be honest.
Whether you stand against social injustice or you just want to make quality products that make people feel happy or improve their lives, conveying that in an authentic is what will really resonate. Of course, creativity comes in to play here and being able to tell that story in a creative way will also help to drive those connections. But, as we keep mentioning, staying true to your core reason for being and not being side tracked by the latest trending topics will stand you in good stead.
Staying true to your purpose
Your checklist for authentic brand purpose
- Establishing why your brand exists
- Making sure you follow through on your values – actions speak louder than words
- Choose your partners wisely – only work with people that share your brand’s values
- Only speak up if a topic is relevant to your purpose and beliefs and make sure you get the tone right
- Use the power of story to showcase your brand’s values
- Stay true to your core beliefs and making sure they are at the heart of all your branding