A brand isn’t just about an image, pretty colors on a website or a cool logo. A brand is also about the message, emotions, and value you create for your customers and clients. Every company or brand starts because they want to solve a problem, fill a void, or make something better.
Do you know what your brand's fundamental purpose is? Do your employees? Your company and brand should be built upon your purpose. Having a solid purpose, and knowing what it is, can be a major factor in the overall performance of your business.
Here's how to identify and lead with your brand's purpose.
When we build out a brand, we spend a lot of time fleshing out things like a mission, vision and values. So where does a brand purpose fall in relation to all of these? It stands above them, informing how they unfold. But most crucially, your purpose is outward-looking where the others are inward-looking. It's an invitation for customers and stakeholders to align themselves with you.
In a sense, a brand purpose is a holistic value proposition. It's central to everything you do and guides your every business decision. Taking a purpose-driven approach as opposed to a transactional one allows you to broaden your mission, grow into new ecosystems and deliver a lifetime benefit to your customers.
To pinpoint your brand purpose, ask yourself:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- Why do you exist?
- What do you care about?
- What are you exceptional at?
- What difference do you want to make?
Answer each of these honestly and refine your answers until they all align with each other.
Reconsider How You Present Yourself
Having a purpose is invaluable because it shows your customers that you're about more than your bottom line.
Once you've identified your purpose and integrated it into your brand, you'll want to ensure that it's working in your favor. This means folding it into your marketing strategy. Your purpose can be a critical factor in capturing customers in the early part of the sales journey, so focus on it as a differentiator. As customers get closer to making a purchasing decision, functional benefits become more important, so dial back the emphasis on your purpose accordingly, while always ensuring that it's part of your offer.
Purpose Above All Else
Lead with your purpose and you'll lead with confidence. Many businesses will focus on features and benefits to reel in new clients or focus on what differentiates them from their competition. These can all be effective marketing strategies, but none of them actually solve a problem for your client.
Of course, you are selling something, whether it’s a product or a service. However, when you’re solving a problem, you’re really offering some kind of alteration or transformation experience, a solution that changes something about their lives.
Use verbiage that communicates the transformation your customer will undergo so that your messaging becomes more about the journey, and a little less about your service or product.
Grow Your Customer Base
Figure out the problem your brand was born to solve and anyone who has ever experienced that problem becomes your audience. Once they are a part of your audience, they become a potential customer.
After all, what’s the best way to forge a real bond with someone? Solve a problem for them. At the end of the day, people don’t care one whit about what you have to offer unless they realize you care about them.
Enabling your customers to do something they couldn’t do before they met you, easing some kind of frustration, and offering them peace of mind are all the results that occur when you solve a problem for them. This builds bonds.
Show someone how you can improve their lives in some way, and you will create emotional ties that are hard to break.
Putting Your Purpose to Work
Finally, make sure that you're truly putting your purpose to work. Stating your purpose is one thing, but actually standing behind it is another. Talk is cheap, so don't be that brand. Your customers want not only to know where you stand but to know that you'll stand by it.
Brands with purpose inspire loyalty and alignment, and those, in turn, result in success. If you haven't taken the time to clearly define your brand purpose, you're leaving both money and impact on the table. Get out there, ask yourself the hard questions and get ready to pinpoint your "why" and all that it entails.
Need some help developing your brand purpose or integrating it into your marketing strategy? Get in touch!