Define your brand purpose

1. Define the solutions your company offers in a way that’s genuine, relatable, and inspiring. Tell consumers why your company exists.

For example, Nike has a clear brand purpose. Nike’s purpose is to move the world forward through the power of sport — breaking barriers and building communities to change the game for all.  Don’t confuse brand purpose with brand mission, goals, vision, promise, or identity. For example, Nike’s mission is to create shoes that make biking, mountaineering, and running safer. This differs from its corporate vision and marketing goals.  Make a positive social impact through corporate social responsibility initiatives and partnerships with local governments and communities. Social impact is a vital aspect in fostering wide approval of your brand. How your brand chooses to take a stand on social issues is important. For example, Nike took a position in the debate against police brutality by featuring Colin Kaepernick in its ads. Pepsi, on the other hand, released an ad that fans said detracted from the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Your brand related actions can impact your business reputation, sometimes irreparably.

2. Use the brand purpose statement as a foundation for practices that improve your brand’s value proposition. Branding is about perception.

Brand purpose drives the direction of your business through actions that illustrate the importance of its existence. Such actions include: Participation in community events. Engaging in lobbying efforts. Taking a corporate stand in controversial issues such as gun control laws, foreign policies, and police brutality.  Instill humanistic values in your daily operations, marketing campaigns, and business communications to create a unique belief system. Develop your brand purpose to correlate with unique ideas and perspectives.  Engage in sociopolitical activism and take a corporate stand on key issues. You’ll either suffer boycotts from detractors or gain new advocates for your brand.

3. Start with why, and end with how and what to stay authentic and inspire brand loyalty.

Identify your market, goals, culture, and vision to know the core reason you are in business. Ask these questions: Why does our company exist?  Why do customers love us? How can we deliver value to our customers? What is the value proposition of our products or services?  Establish how you are going to achieve your brand purpose by charting a course based on your core reason for existence. Define your business processes, partnerships, and internal culture that lead to the creation of a product.  For example, Warby Parker’s buy a pair, give a pair program has benefited millions of people in need of eyeglasses. The company knows how to reach millions of people because it understands why it exists and the value it provides customers. Make, package, distribute, and market your products in a way that’s consistent with your brand purpose. Your product is the what in the brand purpose statement. For example, Tesla makes electric cars that are consistent with its purpose, which is acceleration of sustainable energy and autonomy.

4. Plan seminars to share your brand purpose statement with stakeholders. A shared purpose unites both employees and customers.

Tell the world what you do and why it matters. You can do this by: Engaging with people on social media. Infusing your core purpose into marketing campaigns.  Supporting causes in line with your brand purpose.  Stepping up on social and political initiatives.  You must convince customers to believe in your products before they can purchase them. Foster authenticity and inspire loyalty by showing customers that you prioritize their welfare above material gain. For example, Patagonia ran a Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign in 2011 to support the reduce, repair, reuse, and recycle model of sustainability. The results were impressive and raised awareness about the impact of a circular economy. Appeal to consumer emotions by placing transparency at the forefront of your brand messaging.

5. Evaluate your practices to determine if they align with your brand purpose. Does your customer support services and marketing campaigns illustrate your brand purpose?

Grow your brand with a clear purpose and consistent positioning to meet the functional and emotional needs of your target audience. Cement your reputation for integrity and authenticity by encouraging consumer feedback about your practices and products.