In an extremely competitive market, brands are trying exceptionally hard for distinction, relevance, and growth. Every brand more or less knows what it wants to do, some brands also know how to do it but only the truly successful brands know why! You might be selling a range of home appliances, but do you know why you’re selling them? Is it just to make money, or is there a clear purpose driving your brand?
A brand should exist not just to make money, but to project and reflect the positive difference it can make in people’s lives. It is the clarity and simplicity of your brand’s purpose that drives all other brand attributes. It is also this purpose that is the basis for an enduring relationship with the consumer. Companies with a clear brand purpose can transform and innovate better. Employees aligned with this purpose are happier, perform better, and represent the brand more consistently. And when your people have a greater sense of purpose, profit will inevitably follow.
Brands with Purpose
As British author Simon Sinek says “Knowing ‘why’ your company or brand exists provides the foundation on which to build everything else — your ‘how’ (organizational culture, brand experience) and your ‘what’ (products or services you offer)”. Let’s look at car major Tesla. In a world where non-renewable sources of energy are fast depleting, Tesla is making the giant transition to sustainable energy. ‘What’ do they do? They build a range of electric vehicles. ‘How’ do they do it? They create a culture of technology, design, and innovation fueled by the drive to move away from polluting and depleting fossil fuels. ‘Why’ do they do it? To accelerate the transition to sustainable transport, Tesla builds the next generation of electric cars using integrated energy solutions. People who work for Tesla share the same purpose as the brand – to combat climate change and bring about a clean energy revolution.
Sports apparel company Nike has a strong brand purpose as well. By bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, it reflects the positive difference it can make in people’s lives. Nike connects with individuals universally and moves away from the fitness world to everyday life. Nike is not just creating products for the athlete but is committed to building deeper community connections and encouraging positive social change around the world. ‘What’ do they do? They design a range of sports apparel for people of all age groups. ‘How’ do they do it? They create a culture of fitness and inspire everyone to do their best. ‘Why’ do they do it? To augment the experiences of today’s athlete and solve the problems for the next generation, Nike fosters a culture of invention and creates products for everybody. As a general rule, the folks who work for Nike, care just as passionately about everyday fitness as the brand itself does.
Discover your Purpose
If you want your brand to be felt across your organization, you need to first find your brand’s purpose. No, your brand’s purpose cannot just be social initiatives or CSR or cause marketing. A brand’s purpose and meaning are not meant to only reflect in the mission statement; it should be evident in every aspect of daily life: every customer interaction, every product launch, every marketing presentation, every employee meeting should highlight how your company is living its purpose.
What is the purpose of your brand? Do you want to delight people with experiences of joy and wonder like Coca-Cola? Or connect and nurture people like Star Bucks? Are you looking to evoke feelings of confidence like Mercedes? Or do you want to make every person feel beautiful like Dove? When you are able to define your brand purpose, you will then be able to create a culture where your people share the same values as your brand.
If you want to discover your brand purpose,
- Start by deep-diving into the history and heritage of your brand, the story of your founders and the reason for your brand to come into existence. Do you know, Unilever was founded in the 1890’s with the purpose of revolutionizing hygiene, and even today the brand is “helping people look good, feel good, and get more out of life”.
- Do a brand evaluation; look at your brand’s strengths, passions and how it can be of service to the world. Furniture MNC Ikea’s core strengths include its understanding of life at home. Since better homes create a better society, Ikea is “creating a better everyday life for the many people”.
- Ask your employees what they feel about the brand, why they are proud to be associated with the brand and unearth real value in the purpose of your brand.
- Ask your customers, suppliers, dealers, and retailers and discover your brand’s purpose.
How aligned are your policies with your overall brand purpose? Do you offer products and services that meet your brand’s purpose? Do you hire people who share your brand’s purpose? Is your brand seen in your office and your employees? Do an assessment today!
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