We have a sense that more companies are starting this year investing energy in considering their brand purpose, their brand’s reason for being, beyond making money. It is incredibly rare, in fact I couldn’t tell you the last time, someone came to us to launch a business they created solely as a money-making endeavour. Start-ups are born out of a desire to fix a problem and make a change. That is their brand purpose and it’s true of both products or services.
With that in mind, brand purpose must be authentic and isn’t something that can be created by marketing teams or PR professionals, but it is something we help uncover and articulate. Being able to understand and communicate your brand purpose effectively will help differentiate you from your competition and build a more emotional relationship between your brand and its customer or consumer, and it’s this emotional connection which in turn helps to boost sales and create loyalty.
As best-selling business author Simon Sinek explains, ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’ and the 2020 Zeno study on The Strength of Purpose revealed that when consumers believe in a brand’s purpose, they are four times more likely to purchase from the company and recommend them to friends and family. The study also found that consumers are six times more likely to protect the company in the event of a misstep or public criticism, if they have a strong purpose.
And that was before COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our lives and businesses. As part of Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer published in 2020, they asked people how the pandemic will affect how they think and behave. 21% said the pandemic had led them to more environmentally friendly habits; 16% said they’d focus more on environmental initiatives, and 14% said they’d attribute more value to honest brands.
But just talking the talk won’t cut it – brand purpose must become part of your company DNA and, now more than ever, it must bring with it a set of values that its actions must reflect. Marketing, marketing campaigns, social media can all play a role in this, but authentic and meaningful responses externally must be reflected by doing the work internally.
Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer study also showed that 20% of people aged 18 to 34 feel that brands should ‘guide the change’ and play an active role in making the world a better place, increasing to 27% over the course of lockdown. So, if you are targeting a younger audience, there is even more pressure to consider what your brand stands for.
So, whether you’re a start-up or an established brand, this suggests that time checking in on your brand purpose (or finding your brand purpose for the first time) would be time well spent because uncovering and communicating that could be one of the most powerful things you do in 2021 with positive, long term ramifications. So take a fresh look at your mission statement, your target audience and how you could join the rank of purpose driven brands. And, of course, if you need advice or assistance, then we are here to help.