Purpose of the brand – today it is the basis of marketing

Brand purpose is a term that is appearing more and more often when conducting marketing activities. It turns out that many brands use this element to build relationships with recipients, showing them their values ​​and beliefs.

Businesses create products and services with financial benefits in mind. It’s obvious – that’s how the market and the world work. However, for many contemporary organizations, the goal is not just to sell, but also to sell an intangible idea that has value for the recipients. Exactly that brand purpose.

An example of a brand’s purpose might be education in a particular field, support for technology development, or providing some form of community help. At the same time, the purpose of branding is not the same as CSR activities. The intangible goal of the brand is constantly realized by taking action by the organization. The raison d’être of the brand is therefore an inseparable element of the development strategy and the operation of the brand, and not a simple one-off initiative.

The purpose of a brand is to create a reason why people believe in it.

Developing a brand objective convinces the recipients of the company’s products or services because the activities it undertakes bring value to the community. If a company has more than its products to share, this can already be a strong point reason to believe (RTB) for a potential customer. Brands should aim to survive in an ever-changing world.

The purpose of the brand is more than a marketing strategy. It can also be an effective way to engage customers and employees. It helps to align all business activities with the mission and values ​​of the organization. Eventually, an employee who knows that there is also a much more important objective behind his actions than the result itself becomes more attached to the company and more involved in it.

The essence of brand purpose in marketing

The purpose of a brand is why people should believe in it. This is what sets it apart from the competition. Many businesses are now trying to find their purpose in being able to connect with their customers on a deeper level than just the product or service they offer. They want people to know that they don’t just care about making money. These brands give reasons to believe in their products and services – and are therefore more successful.

In an article for Harvard Business Review [1] Thomas W. Malnight, Ivy Buche and Charles Dhanaraj, based on their research, have described the difference between low growth and fast growing companies. They found that in fast-growing companies, purpose plays two strategic roles:

  • helped companies redefine the playing field,
  • made it easier for them to adapt to current operating conditions.

All of this, in turn, has enabled them to weather the challenges of slowing growth and declining profitability. A well-defined brand objective can therefore have a significant impact on the expansion of the company.

A clear brand purpose can and should be used to support innovation – not just intent, focusing on the emotional and functional benefits of the brand. More importantly, a brand objective constructed in this way can create a variety of ways to actively and directly engage current and potential customers.

The importance of brand purpose in the marketing context is well known to well-known brands

We are talking about Tesla, Google or Dove, for example. Apple is also a perfect example. Speaking in 1997, its CEO Steve Jobs said, “Marketing is about values. He explained how Apple is launching a new ad campaign that will answer the following questions:

  • Who is Apple?
  • What does Apple mean?

“Apple is, in fact, the core value of the brand…we believe that passionate people can change the world for the better,” Jobs explained. Then he described the new campaign theme “Think Different” and thereby launched the cult of the Apple brand not only because of its excellent products, but also its mission, purpose and message.

Over the years, Apple’s focus has evolved. Today, the brand seeks to “enhance creative exploration and self-expression”.

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How to define the brand objective of your brand?

Defining a brand objective does not have to occur at the time of the creation of a company. Sometimes this objective is born with the operation of the company, and it can also evolve with the company.

The authors of the article already mentioned distinguish the two most common approaches to setting a brand goal: looking back and looking ahead.

Retrospective approach requires looking back, establishing organizational and cultural DNA, and understanding the company’s past. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do we come from?
  • How did we come here?
  • What sets us apart for all stakeholders?
  • Where does our DNA unlock the future opportunities we believe in?

A long-term approach it’s looking to the future and changing the raison d’être of the company. The goal is to give meaning to its future. When constructing a new brand objective in this way, the following questions should be asked:

  • Where can we go?
  • What trends are affecting our business?
  • What new needs, opportunities and challenges await us?
  • What role can we play?

The two approaches are not mutually exclusive and can coexist

They can be combined so that in a single instant:

  • look at the history of the company,
  • understand your distinctive traits,
  • find out why our customers and employees choose us,
  • write down where we want to go, how we can influence the environment and with what challenges we can overcome.

Remember though that designing a brand objective requires time and a very thorough analysis of the company’s strategy and history.

Some of the most important tips on how to approach the brand lens design process

  • nothing strong. The purpose of the brand should match what you really want to convey with your brand.
  • The objective must be in line with what the brand does (what products does it offer, what services does it offer).
  • Bet on timelessness. Don’t just follow trends, think more and see what your brand could look like in a few years.
  • Profits can’t be the only determinant, but you don’t have to give them up. The brand goal can help you make a profit, although of course you can’t create it with just that in mind.
  • Consider, what real need do you satisfy or want to satisfy.
  • To remember: the modern market and marketing needs something more than just product promotion and the top position in Google. Especially when it comes to Gen Z consumers.
  • Talk to customers and employees. Find out what they are missing in the context of your business.

Caring for the brand lens – an example from your own backyard

Our agency deals with positioning and has always focused on the development that defines its raison d’être. In an effort to help customers sell more online, we’ve turned SEO into SXO. It’s a combination of SEO and UX that affects both visibility and conversion.

However, we lacked a strong reason for customers to believe, and the SEO industry was quite chaotic when it came to education. What can be done to increase customer awareness and reduce the number of missed business decisions? We created the R&D platform SemcoreLab, within the framework of which a complete case study was carried out.

Step by step, we described how we got the top positions in the search engine for phrases such as SEO, positioning or page positioning, and what exactly the business effects it brought us. In this way, we built RTB for customers, showed that we know how to play positioning and provided material that specialists and beginners can draw from.

Our brand goal is closely related to scientific approach and education, which is why we are planning more and more such projects.

[1] Harvard Business Review: “Put Purpose at the Heart of Your Strategy”, Thomas W. Malnight, Ivy Buche, Charles Dhanaraj, 2019.

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