Finding your brand purpose answers the big question of “Why does your brand exist?” Most importantly, purpose should force you to explore the underlying personal and honest motivation for why you do what you do. When your brand purpose connects with consumers, you will see the power of brand.
Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” Purpose is an intersection of what you are good at, what you love, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.
As a result, I will show how your brand purpose will come to life at the intersection that meets the consumer needs, fulfills your passion, stands behind your values, and yet still builds a successful branded business
Borrowing the model for branding
Brand purpose can be a powerful way to connect with both employees and consumers, helping define your brand soul. While this Venn diagram (above) looks somewhat crazy at first, trust me, it works as an excellent tool for building your brand’s purpose.
This Venn diagram has four significant factors, which match up:
- How does it fit with what consumers need or want?
- Does it fit the core values of your team
- Does it deliver your passion in loving what you do?
- Can you build a beloved and successful branded business.
Beloved Brands is the playbook to keep at your fingertips
Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand. Over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive five-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management
The how-to model helps find your brand purpose
While the Venn diagram creates the purpose with the intersection of all four circles, you can find your own brand purpose by defining each combination of circles, one at a time, which expresses the four pillars that will deliver your brand purpose.
A. Focus your passion on building a tight emotional bond with your most cherished consumers
To start, the intersection of the consumer needs (1) with loving what you do (2). All the passion you put into your work should focus on becoming a favorite brand of your consumers. You should love what you do and love what it does for your consumers. How your consumers react should drive your inner motivations and the power of brand.
B. Build your branded business around a unique, ownable, and motivating brand idea
Next, the intersection of the consumer needs (1) with building a successful branded business (4). Build a brand idea to organize everything you do to deliver a consistent brand that will move consumers through their customer journey and become a beloved, high-growth, powerful, and profitable branded business. How tight you build a bond should drive your business success.
C. Inspire a values-driven culture to provide happy consumer experiences
Then, find the intersection of living the values of the team (3) with creating a successful branded business (4). Your people are the “difference-makers” in delivering an incredible brand. They create a brand worthy of being loved to drive higher prices, lower costs, enter new markets, and create new uses. Link your people to driving the power of brand and the added profits of you generate.
D. Use exceptional execution to become your consumer’s favorite brand
Finally, the intersection of loving what you do (2) with the values of the team (3). Your values provide the backbone of your company, a set of beliefs and motivations linked with how people want to work. The values encourage your people to demonstrate their passion and create a culture where your people will never settle for OK when greatness is attainable. Allow them to put their passion into the brand; they can share in the pride of the team when the brand is successful.
Improve your marketing skills
A brand positioning statement starts with the consumer target your brand will serve. And, it should focus on the emotional and functional benefits your brand will stand for. Finally, brands need to find that space that moves consumers to drive growth and is ownable for your brand.
Treat your brand purpose right
If you love brand purpose, you should treat brand purpose properly, and where it sits within your brand actually matters.
• Purpose is NOT a strategy.
• Purpose is NOT an advertising line.
Purpose answers, “Why does your brand exist?” It is the underlying personal motivation for why you do what you do. Purpose gives your brand a soul. It should sit very high on your brand strategy roadmap, as a guide to the rest of the plan.
Purpose is not a strategy
You can't just make up a purpose for an ad
Brands are making mistakes when it comes to purpose. You can’t can’t just make an ad and think you are done. If you were a product-driven razor brand for 50 years, like Gillette, it might take another 50 years to transition to a true purpose-driven brand.
This is a fantastic message for our current world we live in. Gillette just hasn’t earned the right to say it.
There are no clues in anything Gillette has ever done with their purpose for us to buy into this message. I believe it to be too sharp of a pivot for it to work for them. Had this have been a different brand, where they truly lived up to it, then it may have been ideal.
Your first audience of your purpose should be your employees, not consumers.
Internally, the power of brand is driven by values that form the backbone of your organization. They may come from your background, how you grew up, rules you identify with or how you see your priorities in life.
Your beliefs come from your experience, helping explain why and how you choose to do business, how you treat your people, and how you conduct yourself as a leader and as a person in the community. These beliefs should be personal, ethical, or rooted in frustration for how you see things happening in the world.
Your inspirations should excite the team members who work behind the scenes of the brand. Inspirations should stimulate your people to go beyond the norms of effort or passion.
For organizations, I believe it works best when your people have input into creating and building your values. Maybe that is one of my own core values in a bottom-up approach to building brands. However, the closer your values reflect the realities of what your people believe in, the more successful you will be in using those values to inspire greatness. You will realize the power of brand.
Using your brand idea to build a brand credo document
Having spent time at Johnson & Johnson, I was lucky to see how their credo document has become an essential part of the culture of the organization. Not only does it permeate throughout the company, but you will also likely hear it quoted in meetings daily. It is a beautifully written document and ahead of its time.
- First, take your brand idea and turn it into an inspiring promise statement, which explains to your people how they can positively impact your customers.
- Next, use your brand’s core point of difference to outline the expectations of how everyone can support and deliver the point of difference. A great exercise is to get every department to articulate its role in delivering the brand idea.
- Finally, connect with your people by tapping into the personal motivation for what they can do to support your brand purpose, brand values, and core beliefs. Make it very personal and you will realize the power of brand.
Make sure branding with purpose flows through every part of your brand, before you release it to the public
To read about how Patagonia sees purpose and power of brand:
And, to read how purpose fits into the brand strategy roadmap:
Beloved Brands is the playbook to keep at your fingertips
Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand.
- To start, we will challenge you with questions that get you to think differently about your brand strategy. Learn to drive the power of brand.
- Then, we take you through our process for defining your brand positioning. We will open your mind to new possibilities for how you see you can differentiate your brand. And, we use examples of brand positioning statements to bring the learning to life.
- Next, we will show you how to write a brand plan that everyone can follow. Make sure all stakeholders know precisely how they can contribute to your brand’s success.
- Moreover, we will show you how to run the creative execution process, show you how to write an inspiring brief, and make decisions to find both smart and breakthrough work.
- Finally, you will learn new methods to analyze the performance of your brand with a deep-dive business review.
Above all, over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive five-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management.
Our Brand Management Mini MBA is a virtual brand training certificate program designed for ambitious marketers in the real world. Upon completion, you will earn a certificate that will solidify your resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, advertising decisions, and marketing analytics. We provide 36 training videos that allow you to learn at your own pace, whether you want to complete them in one week or one year. Learn to drive the power of brand.
- We provide reading from our bestselling Beloved Brands playbook, a Brand Management workbook to try out each of the exercises, and a download of our Brand Toolkit with all the PowerPoint slides you can use for your presentations.
- Learn from Graham Robertson, a former VP of Marketing, who brings a wealth of real-world brand management experience from Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Coke, and Pfizer. For over a decade, Graham has been a brand advisor to the NFL Players Association, Jack Links, Shell, Reebok, Honda, The Mayo Clinic, Miller beer, and Pfizer.
Our Brand Toolkit has every template slide you need to run your brand
If you are running a consumer-driven brand or you are a consultant looking after clients, our Brand Toolkit has every PowerPoint slide you would need.
- Our comprehensive Brand Toolkit package has over 120 PowerPoint slides with templates for brand plan presentations, brand positioning presentations, and business review presentations. You will get slides for a creative brief, brand concept, brand credo, and brand story.
- You will get blank slides for you to populate. Each line has key definitions. And, we provide a fully completed brand toolkit using Gray’s Cookies.
- Bonus: We include reading on strategic thinking and how to write brand plans from our Beloved Brands playbook with many of our models in our Brand Toolkit.