Brand purpose is an expression of the fundamental reason why a brand exists, and is driven by the core values and beliefs that define it. It is the reason a brand exists beyond simply making a profit and should be central to every aspect of a business from its strategy to its brand identity, messaging, and customer experience. As a project manager, it is important to ensure that all stakeholders understand the brand purpose and it is reflected in all deliverables, from project plans to marketing campaigns. This helps to ensure that all efforts are aligned and focused on achieving the brand's objectives.
Example of brand purpose
- Apple: Apple's brand purpose is to "challenge the status quo and to bring innovation to the world through technology.”
- Nike: Nike's brand purpose is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.”
- Starbucks: Starbucks' brand purpose is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
- Microsoft: Microsoft's brand purpose is “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
- Amazon: Amazon's brand purpose is “to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Best practices of brand purpose
- Establish a clear and concise brand purpose. A brand purpose should be easy to communicate and remember, and should be true to the core values and beliefs of the brand.
- Make sure the brand purpose is relevant to all stakeholders. The brand purpose should be relevant to both internal and external stakeholders, so it is important to consider the needs of both groups when developing the brand purpose.
- Ensure the brand purpose is communicated effectively. The brand purpose should be communicated to all stakeholders, both internally and externally. This can be done through presentations, emails, newsletters, and other forms of communication.
- Make sure the brand purpose is integrated into all deliverables. The brand purpose should be reflected in all aspects of the project, from project plans to marketing campaigns. This helps ensure that all efforts are aligned and focused on achieving the brand's objectives.
- Measure and review the results. It is important to measure the results of the brand purpose to ensure it is achieving its goals. Regular reviews should be conducted to ensure that the brand purpose is still relevant and is meeting its objectives.
Types of brand purpose
Brand purpose can take many forms, ranging from creating a better world to inspiring customer loyalty. Here are some of the most common types of brand purpose:
- Improving customer experience: Brands use purpose to make customers’ experiences with the brand more enjoyable, efficient, and valuable.
- Contributing to society: Brands use purpose to make a positive contribution to the world through charitable activities, supporting causes, and social responsibility initiatives.
- Enhancing customer relationships: Brands use purpose to build strong relationships with their customers by listening to their feedback, developing trust, and providing outstanding service.
- Building a better world: Brands use purpose to make the world a better place through sustainability initiatives, such as reducing waste, promoting ethical practices, and investing in communities.
- Inspiring customer loyalty: Brands use purpose to create an emotional connection with customers and inspire loyalty by emphasizing shared values and creating a sense of belonging.
Steps of brand purpose
- Step 1: Define the brand’s core values and beliefs. The core values and beliefs should be used to create a purpose statement that reflects what the brand stands for and why it exists.
- Step 2: Develop a strategy based on the brand purpose. The strategy should be used to guide decisions and actions related to the brand's messaging, brand identity, customer experience and more.
- Step 3: Ensure that all stakeholders understand the brand purpose. This includes internal teams, external partners, and customers.
- Step 4: Integrate the brand purpose into all deliverables. This includes project plans, marketing campaigns, customer service initiatives, and more.
- Step 5: Monitor and measure progress against the brand purpose. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the brand strategy and adjust it accordingly.
Advantages of brand purpose
Having a clear brand purpose provides many advantages to a business. It can help to differentiate a brand from its competitors, create a more meaningful connection with customers, and drive more effective and efficient decision making. Additionally, it can provide clarity and focus to employees and help to attract and retain talent. Here are some of the key advantages of having a brand purpose:
- It helps to define the brand’s identity and create a unique position in the market that sets it apart from competitors.
- It provides a foundation for all business decisions, from product development to marketing campaigns.
- It helps to create a stronger connection with customers, as they can identify with the brand’s values and beliefs.
- It can motivate employees and create a sense of purpose and meaning in their work.
- It can help to attract and retain talent, as people are drawn to brands with a strong and meaningful purpose.
- It can provide a platform for brand storytelling and help to create a strong, consistent voice across all channels.
Limitations of brand purpose
Despite the importance of brand purpose, there are a few limitations to consider. These include:
- Lack of clarity: Without a clear, concise brand purpose, it can be difficult for stakeholders to understand the goals and objectives of the brand. It can also be difficult to ensure that all efforts are aligned and working towards the same goals.
- Difficulty in measuring: Because brand purpose is often abstract and not easily quantifiable, it can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of a brand's efforts against the stated purpose.
- Potential for misinterpretation: If a brand purpose is not clearly articulated and communicated, it can be open to misinterpretation by stakeholders. This can lead to misalignment of efforts, or the brand's message being distorted.
- Potential for becoming outdated: As markets and consumer trends evolve, a brand's purpose may also need to evolve. If a brand fails to update its purpose to reflect the current market, it can become outdated and irrelevant.
- Kramer, M. (2017). Brand purpose: The navigational code for growth. Journal of Brand Strategy, 6(1), 46-54.