The real purpose of brand purpose.
04.07.22 | By Ellie Laffner. | branding
The real purpose of brand purpose.
Every brand needs a north star.
Not every brand needs to change the world.
Not every brand needs to revolutionise an industry.
But every brand needs a north star.
A why to their what.
So what exactly is a brand purpose, and why are they so important?
A brand purpose is the reason for your product or service existing (beyond just racking in the dough).
Refresh yourself with a look at some famous examples:
Tesla: to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
Crayola: to unleash the originality in every child.
Dove: to make a positive experience of beauty accessible to every woman.
Apple: to bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.
From product creation to tone of voice to customer service; everything comes back to your brand purpose. It is what helps shape everything you do as a company; and when it aligns to the needs of your customer, this is where sales conversion really begins.
As Simon Sinek in the book Start With Why explains, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
Brand purpose creates consistency.
And consistency creates trust. Customers are loyal to a brand that shows up time and time again. If the quality is consistent, the communication is aligned, and the product does what they say it’s going to do, your brand has got legs.
But more than just consumer-facing, a brand purpose creates consistency for the internal team, too. For new marketing managers, copywriters, designers, PR teams and more, they have a company compass to always go back to.
Brand purpose creates accountability.
The closer a brand sticks to their brand purpose, the more authentic they come across, and the more customers will gravitate towards them as a trustworthy brand. On the contrary, if a brand doesn’t align with their inherent purpose, it can create a strained relationship with the consumer, as well as bad press to boot.
For example, H&M’s Conscious Collection boasted an ambitious purpose; ‘to innovate, influence, collaborate and lead the way towards a truly sustainable fashion future.’
And yet, the ‘Changing Markets Foundation’ report in 2021 highlighted that ‘The H&M’s Conscious Collection used more synthetic fibres than its regular lines and that one in five pieces were made from 100 percent fossil-fuel-based synthetics.’
But it’s not all about ‘gotcha’ moments. For many companies, their brand purpose is the starting point for all creative communication - and everything else they do.
Brand purpose creates opportunity for creativity.
See Levi’s. Their brand purpose is to inspire ‘authentic self-expression’. This has led them to highly successful campaigns such as ‘Live In Levi’s’ a campaign which showcased the ‘experiences of real people – musicians, tattoo artists, barbers, street performers, and others – living, working and playing in Levi’s’.
Or their 2008 campaign, 'Live Unbuttoned' which incentivised customers to break loose from convention. Here we see how one brand purpose can be executed in multiple ways, while still remaining on brief.
While a brand purpose might seem fluffy at first, it really is the cornerstone to your brand. When times are tough or times are booming, your brand purpose keeps you in line with who you want to be as a brand, and why you’re doing what you do.