Why is brand purpose important?

Why is brand purpose important?

10 minutes
brand purpose

We’re living in an age where brand purpose is more important than ever. People are actively seeking out brands that they believe in. Brands they feel have a bigger purpose than profit, and brands that align with their own values and beliefs. 

But why is ‘purpose’ so important? And does having a strong brand purpose really build stronger relationships with your customers?

 

What’s your why?

Essentially, this is what brand purpose boils down to. It’s why you’re in business above profit. When you’re trying to define your brand purpose ask yourself this question: what else is your business trying to achieve and how is it contributing to the wider world?

Why is your why so important?

Numerous surveys have found that consumers are more likely to interact and engage with a brand that stands for something. Research by Accenture revealed that 63% of consumers prefer to buy from a brand that has a purpose that reflects their own values and beliefs, while 62% of consumers think their buying decision is influenced by a company’s ethical values and authenticity.

 

Consumers have been craving more conscious communications for some time, but even more so now. A recent special edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that the coronavirus crisis will have a big impact on future purchasing behaviour. The main takeouts were:

  • 1 in 3 people have stopped using a brand that isn’t acting appropriately in response to the public-health crisis
  • Nearly two thirds of consumers say how a brand responds during this time will have a ‘huge impact’ on their likelihood to buy their products in the future 
  • 90% of people expect to be kept informed about a brand’s operation
  • 84% expect brands to focus on advertising how products and services can help people cope

GFK also recently put out a report on the impact the coronavirus is having on consumer trust. It found that consumer confidence was falling ‘at a rate similar to that of the 2008 economic downturn’. The report outlined that consumers are concerned for their own personal finances and the wider economy. 

So it’s clear that right now, more than ever, consumers are feeling uncertainty and therefore only really connecting with brands they feel are making a difference to the wider world and adding value to their everyday lives. 

How do you demonstrate brand purpose?

The number one thing above all else is to be genuine. Consumers know that brands aren’t perfect (and that, of course, businesses have to turn a profit) but consumers are drawn to brands that do business while thinking of others. Once you know your ‘why’ you can then start to think of initiatives that can benefit the world while linking to your business and what you do. Here are some examples of brands doing just that: 

  • Online fitness coach Joe Wicks has been on a mission to help people live healthier and happier lives for the past eight years. His brand is now getting great traction as he’s launched an initiative to become the nation’s PE teacher during lockdown, giving parents the routine that school provides and providing families with an opportunity to get fit together. He has a paid fitness plan that generates revenue for his business, but he’s using his YouTube platform to generate revenue for the NHS and has pledged to donate the profits from his PE classes straight to them. 
  • Running has soared in popularity during lockdown as regular gym-goers are now hitting the streets to get in their daily exercise. Brooks specialise in road and trail running shoes and their brand purpose is: ‘we believe a run can change a day, a life, the world.” They’re standing by their purpose and have given away 3,000 pairs of trainers to healthcare workers in a bid to help them keep active during this time.
  • Nike has launched a communications campaign encouraging people to ‘play inside’ and observe social distancing rules.
  • Food outlet Leon wants to help people ‘eat well on the go’ and they’ve launched a not-for-profit campaign #FeedNHS in a bid to provide food to NHS workers on the frontline.

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Hayley Clark
Hayley Clark
Hayley has over a decade of experience, starting out as a journalist before moving into digital content and strategy. She has worked with clients across a variety of sectors (from property and finance to FMCG), specialising in content marketing and helping brands find their tone of voice.
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