A Complete Guide On Brand Purpose And Why It’s Important

Brand-Purpose

Every successful brand has a reason for existing beyond just making money. In a highly competitive world where countless brands compete for the attention of similar audiences with similar offerings, having a clear understanding of your brand’s purpose can set you apart from the crowd.

It’s like a clear lens that helps you make smart choices for your brand and differentiate yourself from competitors. If you’re unsure about your brand’s purpose, this blog will explain why it’s important and how to find it, with some great examples to inspire you.

What is Brand Purpose?

Brand Purpose

Brand purpose refers to the fundamental reason for a brand’s existence beyond just making a profit. It goes beyond the products or services a brand offers and encompasses its broader impact on society, the environment, and its stakeholders. A brand’s purpose reflects its core values, beliefs, and aspirations, and it serves as a guiding principle that shapes its actions and decisions.

Having a strong brand purpose can differentiate a company from its competitors, build customer loyalty, attract top talent and target market, and drive long-term growth. It involves aligning the brand’s goals with larger societal or environmental issues, such as sustainability, social justice, or community development, and demonstrating a genuine commitment to making a positive impact in these areas.

Why is Having a Brand Purpose Important?

Brand purpose represents a guiding light for a company, defining its reason for existence beyond just making a profit. Here’s why it’s crucial:

1. Differentiation:

In today’s crowded marketplace, simply offering just your products or services isn’t always enough to stand out. A brand purpose sets you apart by communicating what your company stands for beyond just what you sell. This distinct brand identity helps consumers remember you and choose you over competitors who may offer similar offerings but lack a compelling purpose.

2. Connection with Consumers:

Human beings are inherently drawn to stories and experiences that resonate with them on an emotional level. A well-crafted, compelling brand purpose taps into this emotional connection by aligning with the values, beliefs, and aspirations of your target audience. When consumers feel that your brand shares their worldview or supports causes they care about, they’re more likely to develop strong brand loyalty and affinity for your brand and become loyal advocates.

3. Employee Engagement:

Employees are the heart and soul of any organization. When they believe in the company’s purpose and feel that their work contributes to something meaningful, they’re more engaged, motivated, and committed to delivering their best performance. A clear brand purpose provides employees with a sense of purpose beyond just earning a paycheck, fostering a positive work culture, and attracting top talent.

4. Long-Term Sustainability:

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental, social, and ethical impacts of their purchasing decisions. A brand purpose that prioritizes sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical practices not only aligns with consumer values but also ensures the long-term viability of the business. By integrating sustainability into your brand purpose, you not only mitigate risks but also seize opportunities for innovation and growth in a rapidly changing world.

5. Impact on Society:

Brands have the power to influence societal norms, behaviors, and attitudes. By leveraging their platform and resources, companies can drive positive change and address pressing societal challenges. Whether it’s promoting diversity and inclusion, advocating for environmental conservation, or supporting community development initiatives, brands with a clear purpose can make a tangible difference in the world while also enhancing their reputation and credibility.

In essence, a brand purpose is not just a marketing strategy or a catchy slogan; it’s a fundamental aspect of your company’s identity and a guiding principle that informs everything you do. By articulating a compelling purpose that resonates with both consumers and employees, brands can differentiate themselves, forge deeper connections, drive long-term sustainability, and create meaningful impact in society.

Brand Purpose vs. Brand Mission Vs. Brand Vision: What’s the Difference?

Brand purpose, brand mission, and brand vision are all important elements of a brand’s identity and strategy, but they serve slightly different purposes:

Brand Purpose

This refers to the reason for a brand’s existence beyond just making money. It encapsulates the broader societal or environmental impact that the brand seeks to achieve. A brand’s purpose often reflects its core values and the positive change it aims to bring about in the world. For example, a company might have the purpose of empowering women in underprivileged communities or promoting environmental sustainability.

Brand Mission

The brand mission is more focused on what the brand does on a day-to-day basis to fulfill its purpose. It outlines the specific actions and objectives that the brand undertakes to achieve its purpose. The mission statement is often more actionable and tangible, guiding the brand’s operations, decisions, and interactions with stakeholders. It typically answers the question, “What do we do to fulfill our purpose?” For instance, a company with the purpose of empowering women might have a mission to provide education and job opportunities for women in developing countries.

Brand Vision

Brand vision looks to the future and describes the long-term aspirations and goals that the brand strives to accomplish. It paints a picture of what success looks like for the brand in the future. While the purpose is about why the brand exists and the mission is about what it does to achieve its purpose, the vision is about where the brand is headed. It provides direction and inspiration for the brand’s growth and evolution. A vision statement often describes the desired future state of the brand, such as becoming the global leader in sustainable fashion or revolutionizing the way people interact with technology.

In summary, while brand purpose, mission, and vision are interconnected, they serve different functions in shaping a brand’s identity, guiding its actions, and defining its long-term goals.

Difference Between Brand Purpose and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Brand purpose and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are related concepts but have distinct differences:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a set of initiatives and activities undertaken by a company to contribute to social, environmental, and economic well-being beyond its core business operations. CSR initiatives typically include philanthropy, environmental sustainability efforts, ethical labor practices, community engagement, and more.

While CSR is an important aspect of a company’s commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen, it may not necessarily reflect the brand’s overarching purpose. CSR activities are often seen as voluntary contributions that go beyond legal requirements and are intended to benefit society or specific stakeholder groups.

Brand Purpose

A brand purpose on the other hand is the fundamental reason for a brand’s existence, deeply intertwined with its identity and values. It shapes the brand’s image by defining its mission beyond profit, resonating with consumers who share similar values. A strong brand purpose enhances brand image, fostering trust, loyalty, and positive perceptions among customers who connect with the brand’s societal or environmental impact.

In essence, brand purpose is a part of the overall brand strategy that specifies the broader reason for a brand’s existence and the positive impact it seeks to make, while CSR focuses on specific actions and initiatives that a company undertakes to fulfill its social and environmental responsibilities. While they are related and often aligned, they serve different purposes within the overall strategy of a company.

Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Defining Your Brand Purpose

Defining your brand purpose is crucial for creating a strong and meaningful identity for your business. Here are some key questions to ask yourself before defining your brand purpose:

1. Why does your brand exist? What is the underlying reason for your brand’s existence beyond making a profit?

2. What problems does your brand solve? Identify the specific challenges or pain points that your brand addresses for your target audience.

3. Who is your target audience? Understand the demographics, psychographics, and needs of the people you aim to serve.

4. What are your brand’s core values? Define the principles and beliefs that guide your brand’s decisions and actions.

5. What sets your brand apart from competitors? Determine your unique selling proposition and what makes your brand distinctive in the marketplace.

6. How does your brand contribute to the world? Consider the positive impact your brand can have on society, the environment, or specific communities.

7. What inspires your team and stakeholders? Identify the passions and motivations that drive your team and stakeholders to support your brand.

8. How do you want your brand to be perceived? Envision the desired reputation and emotional connection you want your brand to evoke in the minds of your audience.

9. What story does your brand tell? Craft a compelling narrative that communicates your brand’s journey, values, and vision.

10. How will your brand measure success? Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that best align with your brand purpose and objectives.

By thoroughly addressing these questions, you can gain clarity on your goals to develop a well-defined brand purpose and create a foundation for building a strong and authentic brand identity.

What is a Brand Purpose Statement And How To Create One?

A brand purpose statement is a concise declaration that articulates the fundamental reason for a brand’s existence beyond making a profit. It communicates the brand’s core values, beliefs, and the impact it aims to have on society or the world.

Example of a Brand Purpose Statement:

Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.” – Nike

This statement clearly communicates Nike’s commitment to inspiring and empowering athletes of all levels while emphasizing innovation and inclusivity. It encapsulates the brand’s values and vision, guiding its actions and initiatives. Creating a compelling brand purpose statement involves several key steps:

1. Define Your Brand’s Values: Identify the core principles and beliefs that guide your brand’s actions and decisions. Consider what your brand stands for and the values it embodies.

2. Understand Your Audience: Gain insights into the needs, aspirations, and values of your target audience. Understand how your brand can address their challenges or fulfill their desires.

3. Articulate Your Brand’s Impact: Determine the positive change or contribution your brand seeks to make in the world. This could involve improving people’s lives, supporting communities, or addressing environmental issues.

4. Craft a Clear and Inspiring Statement: Write a concise brand purpose statement that clearly communicates your brand’s reason for being. It should be authentic, aspirational, and resonate with both internal stakeholders and external audiences.

5. Make it Actionable: Ensure that your brand purpose statement inspires action and serves as a guiding principle for decision-making within your organization. It should inform business strategies, initiatives, and communication efforts.

6. Test and Refine: Seek feedback from internal team members, customers, and other stakeholders to refine your brand purpose statement. Ensure that it accurately reflects your brand’s identity and resonates with your audience.

7. Integrate Across Touchpoints: Embed your brand purpose statement across all brand touchpoints, including marketing materials, employee communications, and customer interactions. Consistently reinforce your brand’s purpose to build trust and loyalty.

Overall, a well-crafted brand purpose statement serves as a powerful tool for building a strong and meaningful brand identity that resonates with your audience and drives long-term success.

How To Define Your Brand Purpose

Crafting a meaningful brand purpose requires a thoughtful and deliberate approach that encompasses understanding your values, identifying your audience, defining your unique contribution, finding your “why,” crafting a purpose statement, ensuring authenticity, communicating your purpose effectively, and living your purpose. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you define your brand purpose:

1. Understand Your Values

First and foremost, understanding your values is essential. Reflect on the core principles that drive your business and define what you stand for. These values serve as the foundation upon which your brand purpose is built. Through internal discussions and introspection, gather insights into the values that resonate most strongly within your organization.

2. Identify Your Audience

With a clear understanding of your values, the next step is to identify your audience. Delve into market research to gain insights into your target audience’s demographics, behaviors, and preferences. By understanding their needs, desires, challenges, and aspirations, you can tailor your brand purpose to resonate deeply with them.

3. Define Your Unique Contribution

Once you’ve gained clarity on your values and audience, it’s time to define your unique contribution. Consider what sets your brand apart from competitors and how you can create value in a way that is distinctively yours. Reflect on your strengths, capabilities, and expertise, and identify gaps or unmet needs in the market that your brand is uniquely positioned to address.

4. Find Your “Why”

Finding your “why” goes beyond the products or services you offer. It’s about the deeper purpose or reason for your existence as a brand. Reflect on the broader impact you want to have on the world and the legacy you hope to leave behind. Your brand’s “why” should be inspiring and aspirational, motivating both internal stakeholders and external audiences.

5. Craft a Purpose Statement

Crafting a purpose statement is the next step in the process. Your purpose statement should be concise, memorable, and emotionally resonant, capturing the essence of why your brand exists. Test your purpose statement with key stakeholders to ensure it accurately reflects the essence of your brand and resonates with your audience.

6. Ensure Authenticity

Authenticity is crucial in communicating your brand purpose effectively. Align your actions with your stated values and purpose, and demonstrate your commitment through transparent and genuine communication. Integrate your purpose into your brand messaging and visual identity across all touchpoints, and engage with your audience authentically to foster a sense of connection and loyalty.

7. Communicate Your Purpose

Finally, living your purpose requires alignment and consistency in decision-making and behavior throughout your organization. Empower employees to embody your brand purpose in their daily work and interactions, and continuously evaluate and evolve your business practices to ensure they remain aligned with your purpose.

By following these steps and ensuring alignment between your values, audience, unique contribution, “why,” purpose statement, authenticity, communication, and actions, you can develop a robust and authentic brand purpose that resonates with your audience and drives meaningful impact.

10 Best Brand Purpose Examples

Here are ten best examples of brand purpose statements that are widely recognized for their clarity, inspiration, and alignment with their respective brands:

1. Nike

Nike

“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

This purpose statement reflects Nike’s commitment to empowering athletes of all levels and backgrounds, emphasizing inclusivity and the transformative power of sport.

2. Google

Google

“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Google’s purpose statement highlights its mission to democratize access to information and improve the way people interact with knowledge, aligning closely with its core business of providing search and information services.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb

“To create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.”

Airbnb’s purpose statement emphasizes the importance of belonging and inclusivity, reflecting its mission to facilitate meaningful connections between people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. By fostering a sense of community and providing unique accommodation experiences, Airbnb aims to empower creative exploration and create a more connected and inclusive world where everyone feels welcome and valued.

4. Patagonia

Patagonia

“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Patagonia’s purpose statement embodies its commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability, reflecting its ethos of creating high-quality products while minimizing environmental impact and advocating for positive change.

5. Starbucks

Starbucks

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Starbucks’ purpose statement emphasizes its focus on fostering human connection and community, positioning the brand as more than just a coffee retailer but a catalyst for positive social interaction and meaningful experiences.

6. Tesla

Tesla

“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Tesla’s purpose statement encapsulates its ambitious goal of revolutionizing the automotive industry and promoting sustainability by advancing electric vehicle technology and renewable energy solutions.

7. Microsoft

Microsoft

“To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Microsoft’s purpose underscores its commitment to technology-driven empowerment, aiming to enable individuals and businesses worldwide to realize their full potential.

8. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola

“To refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit; to inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions; to create value and make a difference.”

Coca-Cola’s purpose statement embodies its aspiration to bring joy and positivity to people’s lives while contributing to societal well-being and creating shared value.

9. IKEA

IKEA

“To create a better everyday life for the many people.”

IKEA’s purpose centers on making well-designed, functional home furnishings accessible and affordable, aiming to improve the quality of life for a broad and diverse audience.

10. Unilever

Unilever

“To make sustainable living commonplace.”

Unilever’s purpose encapsulates its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, driving the company to integrate sustainable practices into its business operations and brands.

These brand purpose statements serve as guiding principles for their respective organizations because they are clear, aspirational, and actionable, shaping strategic decisions, driving innovation, and inspiring both internal stakeholders and external audiences.

Conclusion

In conclusion, brand purpose stands as the heart and soul of any organization, defining its essence and driving its impact. It transcends profit margins, guiding businesses to align with societal needs, values, and aspirations. A well-crafted purpose not only sets a clear direction but also fosters authenticity, trust, and loyalty among stakeholders. It’s the beacon that guides strategic decisions, fuels innovation, and inspires meaningful connections with customers and communities.

As brands embrace their purpose, they embark on a journey of genuine contribution, leaving a positive imprint on the world while forging deeper, more enduring relationships. Ultimately, brand purpose is the catalyst for meaningful change and sustainable success.


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