This concept has gained considerable traction in the past 10 years, partly due to the rise of conscious consumerism and corporate social responsibility. According to a recent study from Accenture, 65% of respondents based their purchase decisions on the words, values and actions of company leaders. On top of this, nearly two-thirds preferred to purchase products and services from companies that stood for a purpose that reflected their own values and beliefs – and would avoid companies that didn’t. For a brand to differentiate itself from its competitors, it must stand for something bigger than just what they sell.
This is what a brand purpose helps to articulate, asking the questions: who does the brand want to be, what does it stand for, and what core problems or issues is it trying to solve? Like some of our clients, this could be to build trust in society and solve important problems (PWC Australia); to enrich community experiences (Vicinity Centres); or, to shape a world where people and communities thrive (ANZ).
As these examples show, a brand purpose should be the foundation that guides the rest of your business activity – rather than a last-minute thought that’s tacked on to an existing structure. Authenticity is key in bringing together what your brand is good at and what larger issues it is trying to tackle.