What’s your brand purpose?
Image: Wayne Flynn. Conwy, Wales. April 2017.
“To me, brand purpose is about explaining who we are as a company, what we stand for and what our intrinsic values are beyond the products you see on the shelf,” says Katy Gandon, head of external affairs at L’Oréal UK and Ireland.
In early March 2017 I read that the Shropshire County economic output is falling behind when compared to the West Midlands in the Council’s draft Economic Growth Strategy 2017 – 2021 report published in The Chronicle (02 March 2017).
The report went on to state that there is a declining population of traditional working age – 16 to 64 – and staying here to work, so talent and skills are being lost to elsewhere.
This rather disappointing news compelled me to share the following brand purpose insights with you that the world’s leading businesses adopt. Brand purpose will benefit your businesses growth, talent retention (especially Millennials debated to be people aged under 36 years), financial results and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
“Millennials want to work with companies that can be trusted. They want to work for organisations that they aspire to be a part of.” Richard Wergan, Global head of brand at Philips
Companies can focus too heavily on how their brand is packaged and perceived instead of looking at what’s even more compelling: Purpose, People, Promise!
Purpose is the key to growth
Businesses are challenged by an environment of constant change. Consumers expect more from the businesses they support and employees want more meaning in their work. A purpose offers a solution to each of these challenges and drives focus, strategy and growth.
For an example of a brand addressing this, Dove tackles low self-esteem and poor body image in females. Dove provides a gentle alternative to soap that cares for women’s bodies. Dove’s big ideal is that the world would be a better place if women were allowed to feel good about their bodies.
In this scenario, you can see that Dove’s focus isn’t on soap. It’s on helping women feel good about their bodies and that focus is aligned with their marketing strategy. The result? Dove experienced a $1.5 billion jump in sales over a decade.
What does that mean to how you market your business? Building a purpose-driven authentic branded business brings growth.
Purpose and people
Bridge the gap between your purpose and your people. Start by identifying 3 persona groups who align with your company’s purpose, it’s a good idea to align the persona groups with real people from your community or client base so you can really understand them.
You can connect your customers with purpose by identifying their challenges and goals, then work to understand their behaviors at each stage of the buying journey. What are they thinking, feeling and doing? With this understanding, you can use content to remove the purchase pain points by addressing what customers are thinking, feeling and doing at each stage.
Purpose + People = growth
Your brand promise
Your brand promise is one that connects your purpose, your positioning, your strategy, your people and your customer experience. It enables you to deliver your brand in a way that connects emotionally with your customers and differentiates your brand from competitors.
“We know that consumers want brands with purpose. Global spending on ‘responsible consumption’ products is $400bn” Keith Weed, Unilever
Four steps to growth through a digital strategy
1. Clarify the purpose of your company.
• Aspirational and belief-driven
• Broader than a company’s products or services
• At the heart of a business model
• Long term, action oriented thinking
• An improvement in customers and employees lives
Purpose is not:
• A vision, mission, or values statement
• Solely focused on the organisation
• Not brand guidelines, corporate responsibility or PR
• A tagline
• A trend
2. Deconstruct your customer’s journey. Figure out what they are thinking, feeling and doing at each stage, use a customer journey map.
3. Connect your team’s purpose and your company’s purpose. Ask yourself: What does your business as a whole exist to achieve? Also ask, “What role does your team play in achieving that purpose?”
4. Communicate your purpose externally and change the conversation from all about your product to purpose. A focus on purpose opens up the opportunity for your brand to connect in a meaningful way. The combination of promise and purpose is your greatest competitive advantage.
• 85% of purpose-led companies showed positive growth. Harvard Business Review
• 72% of global customers would recommend a company with a purpose. Ernst & Young
• Employees are 3 times more likely to stay at purpose-driven companies. Imperative/LinkedIn
Only 37% of executives believe their companies are aligned with purpose.
If that’s not motivation to start this journey to evolve your business and capitalise, I don’t know what is.
Need help or more advice to develop your brand purpose? Do contact us we'd love to help you develop your business.