Finding your brand purpose should help to answer the big question of “Why does your brand exist?” It should force you to explore the underlying personal and honest motivation for why you do what you do. The brand purpose can be a very powerful way to connect with both employees and consumers, helping to give your brand a soul.
While the diagram above looks rather crazy at first, this is a great tool for finding your brand’s purpose. This is a complex Venn diagram with four major factors, that matches up what the consumer wants, the core values that can steer your team that works behind the scenes of the brand, loving what you do and the ability to build a successful brand and business. Find your brand purpose, on the intersection of your meeting consumer needs, fulfilling you personal passion, standing behind your values, success and consumers. The reason I love this crazy Venn diagram is that the intersection of these four circles helps to crystalize the four things you need to do to use build a create a beloved brand.
1. Focus on building a tight relationship with consumers
The best brands know their consumers as well as you know your brand. Use consumer insights, enemies and needs. Build your brand plan and positioning around consumer benefits—what they get and how it makes them feel. Ask yourself, how do you describe your ideal relationship with your consumers?
2. Build around a unique, own-able and motivating big idea
The big idea is what consumers connect with first. The big idea then builds a bond as each touch-point to help deliver that big idea. Use the big idea to organize everything those working on the brand should do to deliver the benefit for your consumers—through the brand promise, story, innovation, the purchase moment and consumer experience. Behind the big idea are the elements of the brand positioning. What is the Big Idea of the brand that should inspire everyone who works behind the scenes of the brand?
3. Inspire a values driven culture to deliver happy experiences
The culture of the organization must steer the people who will deliver the experience. Your people become the face of the brand, as they deliver happy experiences that satisfy your consumers. Your people will be a major source of creating loyalty with consumers. What are the core beliefs of the brand that shape the organization as to the standards, behaviors, expectations?
4. Use exceptional execution to become your consumer’s favorite brand
What separates good from great is the passion your people put into the work that reaches consumers. Whether it is your advertising, innovation, sales or the consumer experience you create, I believe that “I love it” is the highest bar for great work. You should create a culture where people never settle for OK when greatness is attainable. What is it that makes someone who works on your brand push themselves beyond the job, to deliver exceptional execution?
Here’s an example of how the model comes together to find your brand’s purpose.
The soul of your brand
Just like the soul of a human, every brand brings a unique combination of the unexplainable assets, culture, motivations and beliefs. The brand soul gathers and organizes all of the internally driven motivations and brings them together into an inspiring purpose, with a set of values and beliefs that are deeply held in the heart of everyone who work behind the scenes of the brand. From the outside eye, the complexity of an organization can appear to be a complete mess, filled with conflicts of what the brand stands for and where it should go next. Unless those conflicts are resolved and the brand is defined, the brand will fail. In an ideal world, everyone should describe the brand in the same way, whether the most remote sales rep, the technician in the lab, the ad agency or the CEO. When a brand is in trouble, the first thing I ask is “Describe the brand in 7 seconds for me” and the common answers I hear includes “I can’t” or “Well our brand is rather complicated” or “It depends who you ask”. If you cannot describe your own brand within the walls of your company, how could you ever expect a collection of consumers to describe your brand in a consistent manner?
The brand soul defines the moral fiber that explains why everyone who works on the brand ‘wakes up each day to deliver greatness on behalf of the brand’. There must be an inspiration to align them, whether a common purpose, cause or excitement for what they do. When the brand does something in conflict with the brand soul, the organization will resist and possible even reject that action as outside the cultural norms. To accept something that goes against the brand’s soul would eventually destroy the beliefs of the inner culture behind the brand. I have met brand leaders who would rather fail, than give up on their own principles and beliefs. They will say, “I don’t want to sell out just to be successful”. I respect that, because they understand themselves. A brand should be extremely personal as a trigger of personal passion for everyone who works on the brand.
Why it matters to consumers
Consumers are tired of being burned by faulty brand promises. Once lied to, their well-guarded instincts begin to doubt first, test second, and at any point, they will cast aside any brand that does not live up to the original promise that captured them on the first encounter. A brand must be worthy of love. The best brands of today have a soul that exists deep within the culture of the brand organization. The brand’s purpose must be able to explain why the people who work behind the scenes of the brand come to work everyday so energized and ready to over-deliver on the brand’s behalf. This purpose becomes an immovable conviction, with inner motivations, beliefs and values that influences and inspires every employee to want to be part of the brand. This brand conviction must be so strong; the brand would never make a choice that is in direct contradiction with their inner belief system. Consumers start to see, understand and appreciate the level of conviction with the brand.
A brand’s big idea, brand soul and reputation must work together to ensure the brand shows up consistently to consumers
To learn more, here’s a presentation on how to create a beloved brand:
Beloved Brands: Who are we?
At Beloved Brands, we promise that we will make your brand stronger and your brand leaders smarter. We can help you come up with your brand’s Brand Positioning, Big Idea and Brand Concept. We also can help create Brand Plans that everyone in your organization can follow and helps to focus your Marketing Execution. We provide a new way to look at Brand Management, that uses a provocative approach to align your brand to the sound fundamentals of brand management.
We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing, related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.
To contact us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 416-885-3911. You can also find us on Twitter @belovedbrands.