Brand Purpose | The Emotional Thread Connecting Your Brand to Your Consumers  

It’s no secret that people are becoming more selective about the products and services they invest in. Instead of being motivated exclusively by price or product, consumers are choosing to invest in their social, environmental, and ethical values and are spending their money where their hearts are.


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In a study by Nielsen on the consumer behaviour of millennials, 66% of respondents said that they were willing to pay more for products and services that came from companies that were committed to positive social and environmental change.


This global shift in consumer behavior is why purpose-driven brands are excelling in the 21st century marketplace.


What is a Purpose-Driven Brand?

A purpose-driven brand is a brand that puts their purpose to the forefront of everything that they do. It’s a brand who lives and breathes to achieve a greater goal than sales and marketing, and who believes wholeheartedly in what they stand for. Very often a purpose-driven brand will use its product or service as a means to an end — a way to forge a path to a greater good.


A brand’s purpose should answer the question of “why?” — why does this brand exist? Purpose-driven brands use this question of  “why?” to make an impact on social, environmental, or ethical issues that they care about in the world.


Your organization’s purpose creates an emotional thread that connects you to your consumers through shared values and beliefs.


Why are Purpose-Driven Brands Important?

Brands can’t just compete with price and product anymore; consumers demand something greater. If you want your brand to stand out, it needs to be bound together by an authentic and meaningful purpose.


When consumers buy products or services from a purpose-driven brand, they see their actions as having a direct social impact. If your brand’s purpose resonates with a consumer, they are more likely to invest in your products or services because they want to support something greater than themselves.


Examples of Purpose-Driven Brands

In 2018, the brands that are thriving are the ones that are meeting the demands of our purpose-conscious society.

Some purpose-driven brand examples include:

  • Warby Parker — make glasses more affordable; buy a pair, give a pair

  • The Body Shop — Enrich, not exploit; a commitment to enriching their people, products, and the planet

  • Canadian Tire Jumpstart — to remove financial barriers so that kids across Canada can participate in sports and physical activities

  • Patagonia — to encourage the world to become more sustainable


How to Find Your Brand’s Purpose  

When finding your brand’s purpose, it’s important to remember that your company’s purpose is different from your mission or vision statement.


  • Purpose answers the question of “why?” — Why do you exist?

  • Vision answers the question of “where?” — Where do you want to go?

  • Mission answers the question of “what?”  — What are you going to do to get there?


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Lastly, but most importantly, when finding your brand’s purpose, you want to make sure that it’s authentic. Consumers will see right through an ingenuine purpose. Take your time to find a purpose that means something to you. You have to strongly believe in your “why?”. If you don’t, your brand will not come across as authentic to your audience, and you will not be able to connect with them emotionally through shared beliefs and values.


Going Beyond Brand Purpose in 2018  

As we mentioned in our recent post on Henryk Cultivated, in 2018 we’re seeing many brands go beyond just purpose-driven. As the need for differentiation increases, the requirement for brands to get noticed becomes more challenging. The concept of brands exploring the space where cultural movements occur seems to take the idea of a purpose-driven brand even deeper. It asks brands to look outside their organization to what's happening in the world around them, to look to their consumer and strive to fulfill their needs, and to support the consumer socially, culturally, and at times politically. As 2018 unfolds and we see more movements happening around us, it’s important to take some time to evaluate what means most to your brand and your audience and find ways of aligning your actions to a greater purpose.


What’s your brand’s purpose and how do you see it evolving in 2018 and beyond? Let us know and connect in the comments below.