Creating a purpose-driven brand or evolving an existing brand into one with a purpose requires thought and planning.
The first step is to come to terms with the age-old, and quite frankly misinformed, argument that a company needs to sacrifice profits to lead a purpose-driven brand.
We have written extensively on the subject of socially conscious brands, and why in this age of millennial (Gen Y) and Gen Z customers brands simply can’t afford not to align with a cause, or drive their own purpose-driven campaign that aligns with their brand identity and its customer base.
We have listed several other related blogs at the end of this article on the subject to fully immerse oneself in the importance of a purpose-driven brand.
The dynamics of a purpose-driven brand identity
Much like a person who seeks to live a purpose-driven life would take time to reflect and give thought on how to go about this, defining a brand with purpose requires careful thought and planning as it is a complex task.
There have been some monumental fails and some amazing success stories by big brands in the cause marketing space so it is best to work with specialists in this field who have the experience.
A brand is an identity that serves to communicate a business’ products, service or cause to consumers. As consumers learn to trust a brand, they make better choices faster and will remain loyal to a brand that they identify with.
Adding purpose to your brand seeks to embed a deeper relationship that connects the purpose of the people behind the brand with the purpose of the people who use the brand.
It is well- documented that Gen Y and Gen Z demand more from the brands they support than merely a transactional one.
When a brand creates an emotional experience with the end user that has the power to transform lives, this is where meaningful brand-loyalty happens and superfans freely share their happiness with said brand. Conversely it is quite easy for a brand to raise the ire of their customers these days, especially if profit seems to be the only motivation. Social media has given every consumer a voice.
Whenever we begin the process of assisting a brand with becoming more purpose-driven we start with a list of questions to help provoke the kind of thinking required to identify the best way forward.
“Humans think in stories, and we try to make sense of the world by telling stories.” – Yuval Noah Harari, Author, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
It is important to understand that story-telling and emotional experiences are at the heart of any good purpose-driven campaign.
No matter how good an idea may seem or how compelled one may be to support a specific cause and align one’s brand to it, if we’ve learnt anything in the past few years, it is that a good or bad or fake story can spread really quickly.
Here are examples of the some of the questions to consider when identifying the greater purpose your brand can serve:
Why did you start your brand in the first place?
Share the origin story, the need, the why.
Understand the decisive moments that have fueled the brand over time.
Do you want a close relationship with your customers and why?
Explain what sort of relationship you want with your customers.
How do you want them to perceive your brand?
What do you want them to think of when they see your brand name?
Look beyond your product to understand your impact.
Looking beyond the brand’s products what is the day to day impact you want to have on people’s lives?
Aside from the value your brand and its products offer try and imagine what the world would be missing if your product(s) did not exist.
What are your brand’s real values?
Mantra, ethos etc. The things you would write on the wall of your reception so it is the first thing people see when they enter your space.
Are we ready to take a stand?
Where does your brand stand on such real-life issues like climate and plastic crisis, environment? The BIG issues on the minds of consumers today.
Think through these issues with this question in mind: “What is the right thing to do, regardless of the bottom line?”
Good purpose-driven brands take a stand that aligns with their purpose.
What could our brand change?
Is there an issue such as safety, product quality, employee pay or sustainability, on which your organisation could take positive action to create a defining moment within your industry?
With whom should we keep company?
Brands often partner with other organisations or influencers to gain favour and access to a potential group of fans.
How and where would you like to see your brand aligned.
What is our future?
Digital is the brave new world. How is your brand advancing into the future?
What will your brand do today to connect with the customer of tomorrow?
- Purpose-led businesses are gaining relevance says Unilever CEO
- What are socially conscious brands?
- What NGOs and brands need to know about ‘Doing Good’ in a digital world
- A Cause marketing case study: The Limitless Potential In Self
- The Great Reset of Capitalism with Purpose led humanism strategy