Brand purpose may not be a new concept in today’s evolving business world, but it’s becoming an increasingly important factor in defining how customers choose which company to buy from. Today’s consumers don’t just make purchasing decisions based on the features a product has, or the price given for a service. They want to feel an emotional connection to the companies they work with.
Showcasing brand purpose is how organizations in both the B2B and B2C world develop an affinity with their target customers. Through brand purpose, organizations show their customers they share their values and visions, strengthening their chances of conversions, and long-term loyalty.
Studies show that 57% of customers are more loyal to companies with a clear, defined purpose, but many organizations are still confused about what “brand purpose” actually is. Essentially, this term refers to the “why” behind every company. In other words, your brand purpose is what motivates your business to sell products and services in a specific niche or marketplace.
The purpose of any business generally isn’t just to “make a profit”. While every company wants to earn revenue, they also have a specific mission or vision they hope to accomplish. Apple wants to help consumers access innovative technology to make their lives easier. Nike wants to empower every individual to unlock their true athletic potential.
When you define brand purpose for your organization, you clarify what your company promises to do for your target customers, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Every organization should have a purpose that motivates and guides their employees, helps them connect with their target audience, and separates them from competing brands. A purpose is what gives your company a human spirit. It helps you to capture the attention of your customers, by showcasing your values and priorities in an emotional, engaging format.
Your brand purpose acts as a compass, guiding everything you do as an organization. It helps you define the messages you’ll send in your marketing campaigns, and how you communicate with customers through a distinctive tone of voice. A strong purpose can also help companies to determine which products and services they should sell, and what their go-to-market strategy should look like.
Defining your brand purpose and sharing it with your customers shows them that you’re committed to actively making their lives better in some way. It sets you apart from faceless corporations focused only on making a profit, and demonstrates your commitment to putting the needs of your buyers first.
Used correctly, brand purpose can help you to earn the trust of your customers, as well as their loyalty, ensuring you can earn consistent revenue as new solutions compete for market share. What’s more, brand purpose can differentiate you from your competition, and make it less likely you’ll need to compete for revenue by consistently lowering your prices.
Even if you haven’t dedicated time to outlining your brand mission, vision, and values before today, the chances are you already have an underlying purpose. Think back to when you first created your company. What inspired you to develop the solutions, services, or products you offer today? How did you differentiate your organization from the vendors already in your market?
If you’re struggling to pinpoint your exact brand purpose, the following steps will help:
Step 1: Refine your brand
The first step in effectively defining your brand purpose, is outlining the core elements of your brand. A brand isn’t just your company’s name and logo; it’s the values that drive your decisions, motivate your employees, and ensure you can connect with your customers.
Ask yourself what you want to accomplish as a business, aside from earning revenue. For instance, if your company sells software to accountants, your focus might be on saving professionals time on complex tasks. Alternatively, you might be focused on helping your customers to improve their compliance with industry regulations, or reduce their risk of making common errors.
Step 2: Understand your customers
A good brand purpose doesn’t just motivate and inspire your employees, it also helps your business to resonate with a specific group of potential customers. The right brand purpose should connect with the specific goals and pain points of the people you want to serve.
With this in mind, it’s worth taking some time to get to know your customers. Conduct market research to learn more about what your customers prioritize when looking for solutions like the ones you offer. Find out what matters most to your clients, what pain points they want to overcome, and what they aren’t already getting from competitors in your field.
Step 3: Research your competitors
Finally, your brand purpose should also help to differentiate you from the other organizations in your space. A good brand purpose should be unique to your company. It should draw attention to what you do differently, and why your customers should choose you over a range of other solution providers.
Researching your competitors will help you to define your unique selling points, or unique value propositions. Focus on what you can offer that other organizations can’t, whether it’s a fantastic level of customer support, a personalized experience, or just unique and innovative features.
If you don’t have a lot of experience with the components of brand positioning and brand identity development, it can be difficult to effectively define your brand purpose. Sometimes, the best way to inspire your team, and start moving in the right direction, is to learn from existing brands. Here are some great brand purpose examples to get your creative juices flowing.
One of the most compelling examples of brand purpose on the market today comes from fashion company, Patagonia. The organization differentiates itself from other garment manufacturers, by highlighting a focus on sustainability, ethical practices, and the protection of the environment.
The purpose of Patagonia isn’t just to sell comfortable and stylish clothing, but to do so in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the planet. Patagonia highlights its purpose constantly, by giving back to local communities, investing in strategies to combat climate change, and prioritizing eco-friendly production on a consistent basis.
Another fantastic example of brand purpose from the clothing landscape comes from Nike, one of the world’s top athletic apparel companies. The purpose of the company is to deliver innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world. Nike positions itself as a thought leader in its industry, by encouraging people to rethink the word “athlete” and how it’s defined.
Nike believes in motivating everyone to achieve their fitness goals, with access to comfortable, innovative clothing, designed to address common problems like fatigue. Nike commits to transforming the athletic industry, highlighting its customers as champions in its marketing and sales strategies. The brand also invests heavily in research and development, to ensure it can deliver on its brand promise with an ever-evolving collection of products.
In the technology industry, Apple offers an insight into one of the best examples of brand purpose around. From day one, the company has positioned itself as an innovator in its field, committed to delivering not just powerful technology, but great customer experiences. Apple establishes itself as a leader in design and technology, constantly researching and developing exciting new products.
The purpose of the company is to enable everyone to make the most of digital transformation, with tools that are intuitive, convenient, and stylish. Apple showcases its commitment to its brand purpose not just with phenomenal product design, but a dedication to fantastic customer service. Clients can consistently access expertise and support for every product they purchase from the brand.
Ultimately, brand purpose isn’t just a tool companies can use to distinguish themselves from other organizations in their industry. Used correctly, a brand purpose strengthens the emotional connections companies build with their target audience, by showing a commitment to consistent values and visions. The right brand purpose helps organizations to make the right decisions when creating new products and services, based on the needs of their target audience.
What’s more, a good brand purpose can go a long way towards keeping employees motivated and engaged. It gets everyone on the same page, and ensures each team member can understand the mission and vision of the organization they serve.
If you’re struggling to define your own brand purpose, it might be worth seeking out a little extra support. Branding and marketing agencies can work with your organization to define the core values and promises that should make up your brand purpose “statement.”.
Contact Nimchinski Michael today to learn more about how the right agency can help you to redefine, strengthen, and champion your brand to reach the right target audience.