The importance of brand purpose

Does your brand have a sense of purpose?

03 June 2020

Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of attention being paid to Purpose – capital P – in which companies often get swept up in corporate social responsibility and other messaging around sustainability, ESG, and impact investing. But don’t let that overshadow the fact that your brand does need purpose.

And you need to take a step-back in recognition of the current environment and reflect on how this impacts your brand purpose moving forward. The future is a world of heightened collaboration and interconnectivity between you and your clients, so any ‘client-centric’ mantra needs to be re-imagined and the ‘what’s in it for me’ rule book rewritten. But as the marketer, you must continue  to articulate ‘why your brand exists (its purpose).

If you can’t, then how can you expect to matter to your clients? They’ll turn to a competitor who does.

The purpose of Purpose
A successful brand needs to live by a guiding principle, or a set of them. They will frame the culture of your organisation, inspire your employees, guide your marketing, and attract and keep your clients. Together this creates your purpose – the very reason for your brand’s being.

When well-articulated – in word and deed – purpose serves to bridge your brand to your clients. What you say to the world and how you treat all your stakeholders will remain as a constant measure of your value in their heart and minds. But before you can pronounce your brand purpose, you must identify it, truly understand it, and weave it into the very fabric of every marketing piece you conceive.

In a post-pandemic world, expressing your purpose should consider these tenets:

  • Simplicity and clarity win audience engagement
  • Business-to-human communication demands authentic knowledge and their needs
  • Differentiation is not about shouting the loudest - but being in tune with your clients as well as your employees.

Authenticity to create difference
also important to add substance to your style, to prove the reasoning behind your messaging, to ensure that your offerings are indeed relevant. At Living, the brand proposition work we do for clients, looks for the values that drive decision-making and the intellectual capital that grounds the organisation. Once these attributes are deemed authentic, we collaborate with our clients to create difference – so that their brand purpose can rise above.

Is your brand purpose proving elusive?
Not ready or not sure how to move forward? That might be tough to admit, but transparency is a key ingredient to uncovering your brand purpose.

Living has been working with marketing teams for 16 years, helping them understand and express their brands. We know how to elevate the recognisable elements of a brand – its aesthetic identity – to a thoroughly realised incarnation of its purpose. We do this with solid intelligence: the data from research and the insights of in-depth discovery.

It’s good to talk
If you’d like to discuss how to articulate a purpose for your brand, drop an email in the first instance to: Greg Hobden in London, Duncan Shaw in New York or Gigi Yung in Hong Kong and then we’ll give you a call.

Greg Hobden – Managing Director, Living Group London


Living Views Brand Purpose