Jan 7, 2020
Brand Purpose: How to Use it to Your Advantage
What’s brand purpose, vs. brand mission? We’ll give you concrete definitions and examples in this article so you can define and use brand purpose to your advantage.
Have a great product or service? So do at least a dozen other companies. When there’s a business opportunity somewhere, then chances are, other people are already on it. That might seem discouraging, but you’re not alone. When it comes to capturing market share for your company, creating a sizable customer base, and growing, you need an edge. It’s not enough to simply have a great product or service. That’s merely the beginning. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to define your brand purpose.
So, what is brand purpose anyway?
A lot of people go into business simply to make a profit. We’re not here to get all preachy on you. Everyone has got to eat, and a company has to make money to stay alive. But really, your customers don’t want to hear that.
Maybe at its core, the purpose of advertising is to get people to part with their hard-earned cash. But how do you accomplish that? You have to woo people. And you don’t do that by asking outright, “give me your money in exchange for my product.”
Yes, it’s a crowded marketplace. Creating a name for yourself and capturing your target audience’s attention might be difficult, but not impossible. There are many weapons in your arsenal, and brand purpose is one of them.
Brand purpose is the reason your business exists beyond simply making a profit. It’s a higher-order of reasoning and forces you to look deeper, at the emotional, passionate reasons for why you founded a business in the first place.
What are some examples of purpose?
Create board games? No, you don’t. ‘You make it easier for families to spend quality time together’.
Own a digital marketing agency? Not really. ‘You help other businesses flourish and grow with increased visibility online’.
Elon Musk, is that you? ‘You founded Tesla to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport’.
If you’re still a little unsure of the definition of brand purpose, let us introduce you to Simon Sinek’s work on the topic of brand purpose.
We’re simplifying here, but it goes something like this:
- The What: Defining the “what” of your business is easy. It’s what you sell – your products, services, and unique offerings.
- The How: The “how” refers to how you bring your offerings to the market. How also relates to your organizational culture, and the experience customers can expect when interacting with your brand. Many organizations use their “how” to help differentiate themselves from competitors.
- The Why: Not many companies explore their “why.” Why, or brand purpose has nothing to do with turning a profit. It’s a belief or reasoning for why you do what you do. Defining your “why” requires you to dig deeper.
Most businesses start with the “what.” Some will go on to the “how,” while fewer still will evolve to the “why.” But we argue that defining your “why” or brand purpose first gives you a strong foundation to launch and explore your how’s and what’s.
Brand Purpose, vs. Brand Mission: What’s the Difference?
Business owners often confuse the terms “brand mission” and “brand purpose.” Your brand purpose is why you exist, yes. But brand mission refers to the plans and steps you’ll take to achieve your goals. A brand mission may center around specific tactics and strategies you’ll use surrounding things like:
- Product development
- Improvements in customer experience
- Marketing strategies
Brand mission cannot fully exist, and cannot fully be realized without defining your why, or brand purpose.
How do you use purpose to your advantage?
Businesses have always needed to define the “four P’s” to remain viable and grow. The four P’s are:
- Product – what you’re selling
- Price – what you’re selling it for
- Place – where people can buy it
- Promotion – how you let people know it exists
But, without the fifth and final P, purpose, it’s difficult to make accurate decisions and design workable strategies around the other four P’s.
If you think that having a brand purpose is some new age baloney, then think again. The data on brand purpose supports the concept. Studies on purpose-driven brands with a “why” outperform companies that do not define their why and use it to their advantage.
“The top 50 highest-performing brands are driven by their ideals, or why”
“Businesses that have a why grow up to three times faster than their competitors”
“Investing in purpose-driven companies is 400% more profitable than investing in the S&P 500”Based on 10 years of empirical research involving 50,000 brands, Millward Brown and Jim Stengel
When you center your company around the belief and value of improving the lives of your customers, your company will grow exponentially by leaps and bounds. But that’s not all. Defining your purpose helps you attract the best talent for your business. These are people who are going to help you reach your goals since they will believe in your company ideals, too.
Here at The Vision Lab, we believe in nurturing and utilizing the best resources that your company has – its people. Our platform allows business leaders to crowdsource your employees’ best ideas, feedback, and suggestions on how to help your company grow.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help you use brand purpose to your full advantage.