As I sit down to pen this article, an email pops into my account and catches my eye. It’s from a very well known Australian underwear and clothing brand, and I get their emails at least twice a week. Almost all of the time they are redirected to my Trash folder without much thought, but not today. Today, instead of the usual alarmist subject line ("Limited Time, Huge Percentage Off!"), the emails reads: "How we are making a difference.”
I open the email and click through and am presented with large portion of their website dedicated to educating buyers about their efforts to make the smallest carbon footprint possible, along with various other charitable efforts. It’s a page of their WHY, and it’s affecting.
It’s also timely, as today I’d like to explore the newest marketing buzzword that proves to be more than a passing phase. PURPOSE: why your why should be at the heart of your brand and your marketing campaigns.
William Craig of Forbes Business Magazine writes of this in his Feb 2018 article “Purpose Becomes The Heart of Marketing”.
“Marketing is more than combinations of images and words to push a product. It's a multi-sensory engagement that promotes greater participation, transformation and evolution, all linked by brand purpose.”
So what is you why and why is it important?
Your why is a collective sense of purpose that reflects your company merit, trustworthiness, and authenticity. It is the feeling you want your customers to experience when they engage with your products and services - the identity that your customers want to align with.
Are you an eco-responsible brand like Bonds, caring for the greater good and future of the planet? Are you the black sheep of your industry, daring to reject conformity as Apple does? Are you all about delivering happiness, and promoting happy, healthy work environments that encourage employee growth as Zappos does?
Consumers look to align themselves with the emotional heart of a brand, if a company shares the personal values of a potential buyer (or the values they aspire to!) they are much more likely to purchase from that brand.
“79 percent of customers prefer socially purpose-driven brands and prioritize purchasing products from such companies.”
A study considered the 50 fastest growing brands in the US, and the relationship between a brand’s ability to serve a higher purpose and its financial performance. The research team – comprising Millward Brown Optimor brand strategists, Jim Stengel, Professor Sanjay Sood and MBA students at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management – uncovered that the most successful brands were built on an ideal of improving lives in some way, irrespective of size and category.
Millward Brown’s team also determined that the 50 brands touch on five fundamental human values:
Eliciting Joy: Activating experiences of happiness, wonder, and limitless possibility
Enabling Connection: Enhancing the ability of people to connect with each other and the world in meaningful ways
Inspiring Exploration: Helping people explore new horizons and new experiences
Evoking Pride: Giving people increased confidence, strength, security, and vitality
Impacting Society: Affecting society broadly, from challenging the status quo to redefining categories
(*Click here to see the full list of companies.)
As this research suggests, leading with purpose not only about increasing sales. Mission driven companies create a human connection with their customers and this builds trust. Trust leads to “fans” who will engage with your brand and share with friends and family, the much valued and difficult to achieve: word-of-mouth marketing. Defining a clear company purpose (and running your company by its principles) also increases motivation and productivity in your workforce, as well as greater employee retention.
What is your company’s purpose? How does it align with the values of your customers? And perhaps most importantly, how can you effectively share this with your audience?
We might be a little bias (just a little), but we understand the effectiveness of video in communicating the heart and purpose of your brand. Check out some examples of our work (below) and email us to have a chat about what gives your brand meaning. (firstname.lastname@example.org)