Brand purpose sets out how your company plans to change the lives of consumers and the wider world for the better.
It’s essentially your raison d’etre – so taking time to define and develop it is an effective way of reminding your employees and customers what’s so relevant and unique about you.
Brands with a purpose-led approach resonate with consumers and sustain long-term success.
Here’s why brand purpose is crucial for customers.
Differentiation through relatability
One of the main benefits of adopting a purpose-led approach is that it helps you differentiate from the competition and stand out to customers.
Sometimes this involves taking a stand and not sitting on the fence. For instance, the Earned Brand study by Edelman found that 67% of consumers purchased good from a business for the first time because they agreed with its position on a controversial topic.
Your brand purpose articulates the psychological motivation that propels all your efforts, so if you can explain this in a simple, elegant and engaging way, it can play an integral role in enticing people to connect with your brand.
Furthermore, the Accenture Strategy Research report found that consumers are no longer basing their decision to buy purely on the quality and price of products – they’re more interested in businesses aligned ethically with values they can identify with.
Brand-led businesses can therefore engage with such consumers by developing a purpose which focuses on contemporary societal issues. For example, cosmetic company Lush has used it’s ‘We Believe’ brand purpose to speak out about issues such as ethical buying and animal testing.
If your customers can see that you’re interested in the social issues which matter to them, it adds inherent meaning to your brand, thus enabling you to engage emotionally with your customers through shared beliefs and on a more person level – where you’re not only satisfying their needs as a consumer but empathising as fellow responsible citizens.
Customers favour businesses which have their best interests at heart. So a brand purpose which is perfectly aligned with your product, service or industry can therefore be a highly effective way of conveying this to customers, as it maintains unwavering focus on their pain points.
When customers feel valued by a business, they become more than just consumers – they’re active stakeholders who invest their time, money and attention. This intimate connection between them and your business sets them on the path to becoming brand advocates – at which point they’ll feel compelled to help you fulfil your purpose and promote you without being prompted.
In the digital age, customers can easily find out if your brand is acting on its purpose and being authentic, or behaving hypocritically – so you need to ensure that you base purpose around an issue that you genuinely care about are prepared to promote and commit to.
Since your brand purpose is something that inspires you, by sharing it with your customers, you’re demonstrating an honesty and transparency about your passions that will create a deeper and more meaningful connection between you and your audience, as it humanises your brand and declares that your efforts aren’t all about the bottom line.
Taking a stance on social issues can be controversial, but it demonstrates that you’re genuine – because you’re willing to take express views which might alienate you from certain groups, in order to get closer to the target customers who really matter to you.
Instilling a sense of brand purpose is now an essential for any business that wants to create a large and loyal customer base.
A clearly defined and effectively demonstrated purpose gives you a deep and distinct USP that transcends your product offering, which is essential in crowded markets where there’s always an enterprise which claims to be bigger, better, cheaper and faster.
No matter how common or uncommon your business offering is, your brand purpose is the promise that takes you beyond cold commerce and helps you to connect in a deep and distinct manner with your customers.