What is Brand Purpose?
Brand purpose refers to the reason why a brand exists. It compasses the “why” your brand is what it is, and branches out to what your brand seeks to achieve during its existence.
Many businesses are set up to make a profit, but approaches to this end vary from business to business. Getting traction for your business in a toughly competitive market requires more than the traditional outlook, and having a brand purpose is a good way to start because of its foundational nature.
Brand purpose is “foundational” because once defined, the entire process of brand building is better shaped into perspective. Knowing why your brand exists will help you streamline your brand’s identity and the kind of products or services it will render. It can also define your brand message and how it is conveyed in campaigns and outreaches.
In this blog, you will find out the extent to which mapping out a brand purpose can guide every branding decision you make, ultimately making brand building a seamless and rewarding endeavor.
First, how about some more benefits of having a brand purpose?
Why Should You Have a Brand Purpose?
To Add a Multidimensional Layer
As outlined in the previous section, having a brand purpose helps to guide ensuing branding practices such as brand identity, product design, campaigns. In effect, every branding effort is grounded by a fundamental purpose, and your business operates as a multidimensional system instead of a one-dimensional profit-making entity.
A multidimensional brand evokes more than transactional offerings from customers. It reaches out to them to create an emotive bond and nurture a loyal relationship – which weaves into our next point.
To Attract the Right Hands (Employees)
It takes one person to be inspired by an idea, but the execution requires more hands. Similarly, defining your brand outlook on paper is one thing, but staying true to it requires a team of committed employees. Even if you run your own sole proprietorship, you need the right workers for your business branding to succeed; and a brand purpose can help with the screening process.
Juxtaposing the candidate’s prospects and core values with your brand purpose will compose a reliable compatibility metric to guide your decision. With a fine selection of employees who can attune to your brand purpose, your business is set to flourish.
To appreciate the overall importance of brand purpose, think of it as a crystal-clear lens through which your brand can see its direction and stay on track in all its activities. This includes giving your business clarity on human resources and a consistent outlook for recognition by your target audience.
To Connect Seamlessly with the Target Audience
In the current market climes, a customer-to-business relationship is not a triviality. For a majority of customers, trust is an important deciding factor in purchase decisions. A customer-to-business relationship builds this trust, and it is one of the core goals of branding that can be achieved with a brand purpose. Having a defined brand purpose that gives your brand a coordinated outlook is attractive to customers.
For example, Company X, a clothing brand, has a brand purpose to empower sportswomen from all over the world and its campaigns vividly reflect this purpose. Inevitably, sportswomen will feel seen and respond to the brand. This connection encourages them to trust and patronize the brand. This is the case for many real-life brands, some of which you know.
Up next, you will read about two of such real-life prominent brands and how they have finessed their respective brand purpose.
Brands You Know Have Purpose
The Google Case Study
Without looking it up on their official website, it is easy to see why Google exists. As people who use Google up to three to four times every day, there is no getting it wrong if asked to guess what Google’s brand purpose is.
“…to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
This is the brand purpose stated on the Google website, and it aptly resonates with the role that the brand currently plays in the cyberspace. The most popular role is that of a search engine, and Google holds down a chunky 91.6% of the search engine market share, being operational in nearly every country in the world. Also, to maintain a 24/7 operation of their search engine service and other products, Google organizes a vast reserve of data, stored in 30 centers across 10 countries of the world.
These activities, along with many others, align with the Google brand purpose to both “organize” and “grant access” to world information. The result of this commitment is the globally renowned Google brand as a useful tool for everyday ease of access to information.
This perception traces to a well-slated brand purpose.
Google’s highlighted brand purpose also steers its visual identity, expressed vividly in its memorable name, logo, and user-friendly interface. Aside from the search engine service, Google provides a wealth of other products such as an internet browser, email service, music, and video playing platform, maps, and other unique offerings- all of which collect and curate information for easy accessibility, which is in line with its brand purpose.
The entirety of Google’s branding and product offerings stem from its dedicated purpose. Let’s have a look at how another brand commits to its stated purpose.
The Red Bull Case Study
As a pioneering energy drink brand, Red Bull took off in the late 1980s with a unique formula and an even more unique slogan “to give you wiiings.” This slogan would become its brand purpose and the centerpiece of Red Bull’s branding operations.
Humans can’t fly, at least not biologically, and so, Red Bull’s initial catchphrase, “gives you wings” stirred a controversial lawsuit. Despite this, Red Bull has maintained the phrase, but with an addition of two Is to “wings” to make “wiiings.”
The phrase may be explained as a metaphor that means “so much energy, that a person feels like they can fly.” That is, quantitatively, a lot of energy. It can also allude to encouragement and motivation to achieve a goal.
Since the first batch of Red Bull drinks became a massive hit in America, Red Bull has coordinated its campaigns, packaging, and business operations in dedication to its brand purpose. Hence, the energy drink has for generations remained popular among the demographic of people who’d be thrilled to have “wiiings”: Young adults.
Thus, Red Bull has a target demographic of people aged 18 to 35, who are independent professionals with an average to higher income, and participate in high-energy activities from party-dancing to extreme sports. This accounts for Red Bull’s involvement in sponsoring athletes and extreme sporting events, all hinged on its brand purpose.
Red Bull’s simple, yet highly motivational brand purpose has made customers of people from over 170 countries, who recognize the bold red logo of two horn-locking bulls on brightly colored cans.
With nearly 10 billion cans sold worldwide in 2021, and the largest share in the energy drink market, Red Bull’s brand purpose has proven to be a solid foundation for its branding, and ultimate recognition, to thrive.
Discovering Your Brand Purpose
By now, it should be clear that having a brand purpose is not a dispensable aspect of branding. Purpose is inextricably linked to brand recognition, and by extension, relevance. Possibly, you are considering giving your business a brand purpose and you wonder what it should look like. Your brand purpose may be similar to those of Google or Red Bull, or not at all, depending on your business model.
While there are no hard and fast rules to finding a brand purpose, these pointers will be helpful in the process:
Map out your unique products and services
Figure out what needs your products can meet
Map out your target audience
Commit to connecting with the target audience
These sub-processes will take time, research, and financial and human resources, but once discovered, brand purpose stays with your brand for the long term. This makes it imperative for your brand purpose to be authentic.
Brand Purpose and Authenticity
A Brand Purpose is not a puzzle to be deciphered, it should be simple, clear, and genuine. Customers can sense superficiality, and their response to this will negatively impact your brand.
Similarly, an ambiguous or needlessly complex brand purpose may do your business branding the opposite of good. If your brand purpose is metaphorical (like Red Bull’s), make sure to explain in clear terms what it contextually means. Otherwise, keep it straightforward, like Google’s.
A single, accessible line of your brand purpose is all you need to get your business started on the branding roadmap.
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