Purpose-driven branding is better for your brand’s image. It is more than your logo and the colours you use. It’s more than catchy slogans and pithy taglines. Beyond merely looking good, the image your brand projects depends on how you resonate with your clients on a deeper level. That is where your brand purpose comes in.

And there’s a big reason why you should view it as your main quest.

When a hero receives their quest, it becomes their driving force – their reason to continue and the force that brings others to their cause.

The same can be said for your purpose.

Purpose-driven branding goes beyond profit-making and focuses on a more meaningful mission. A more strategic approach greatly benefits your brand, business and bottom line. In this article, I’ll explain purpose-driven branding and why you must use it.

What is purpose-driven branding?

Firstly, it’s vital to define what purpose-driven branding is. You’ve likely heard of a ‘brand purpose’ before but may wonder what it is. A brand’s purpose is its reason to exist – BEYOND making money.

That is an important distinction, especially if you want a purpose-driven brand.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Most people are in business to make money. That’s a given. But it’s important to understand why you do what you do and how it benefits people. That forms the beginning of the brand’s purpose.

Most purpose-driven brands build a purpose that looks beyond their business. Traditional branding tends to focus on profitability – how can I attract clients? Purpose-driven branding, however, emphasises societal or environmental responsibility.

The purpose evolves BEYOND the business’ direct needs and looks to create change.

A great example of this is Ben & Jerry’s. Their purpose statement is: 

Guided by our Core Values, we seek in all we do, at every level of our business, to advance human rights and dignity, support social and economic justice for historically marginalized communities, and protect and restore the Earth’s natural systems. In other words: we use ice cream to change the world.’

Ben & Jerry’s purpose is to use ice cream to change the world. Notice that the word ‘change’ crops up again. That is no accident – purpose-driven brands often appear because they see a problem and want to create a solution.

Their mission statements go into more detail for a more granular definition of their objectives:

Ben & Jerry's Mission statements show their purpose-driven branding

Ben & Jerry’s Mission statements show their purpose-driven branding – Image credit Ben & Jerry’s UK Website

As you can see, this purpose goes beyond the simple act of selling ice cream and has cemented the brand as one of the largest in the world.

Why is purpose-driven branding important?

That leads right into why purpose-driven branding is more important than ever. Ben & Jerry’s success is no accident. Their branding has an authentic core that resonates with their audience. Reasons for this also show why purpose-driven branding is so important. Here are a few:

Consumers are more socially Conscious

Consumers have much more choice than ever before – and they are using that power to buy from brands that match their values.

With more information readily available to consumers, they are more aware of environmental and social issues. They buy from brands showing values that are more aligned with their own.

Purpose-driven branding is more authentic

Authenticity is a bit of a buzzword in branding. It’s often thrown around to make a brand seem more trustworthy. The thing is, authentic brands DO build trust better. To be authentic, a brand has to walk the walk.

Purpose-driven brands commit to their values and mission. They actively pursue their mission and live their values and aren’t jumping on a bandwagon or blindly following trends.

Purpose-driven brands attract and retain customers

The reason branding exists is to communicate with your customers. Ideally, to attract your market and turn them into customers. When customers connect with your purpose, they become more engaged and in turn, more loyal.

Purpose-driven brands have the opportunity to foster meaningful relationships with their customers, creating long-term success over short-term wins.

How to transform your brand’s image with purpose

As mentioned at the top of this article, your brand’s image is not all about its visuals. You can create a unique identity using your purpose without ever having to go near Photoshop or Canva. This can be a challenging goal, but the rewards are great.

Firstly, you need to identify your brand’s purpose. This is a vital first step, as without clarity you cannot create a message that resonates with your audience.

Take the time to define your brand. Think about why it exists beyond making a profit. Write out case studies of times you’ve helped your ideal clients and look at how it changed their lives.

Discovering your purpose is all about defining the positive impact you’ve had on the world.

Next, you’ll want to align your purpose with your values and actions. Authenticity is key – remember that your audience will know when you make empty promises. Consumers can spot inconsistencies, so take the time to check your purpose against your values for alignment.

Finally, you’ll want to communicate your purpose with your audience. Actively engage your community, use marketing campaigns and brand stories to build trust and show authenticity. Transparency and honesty are vital for showing your commitment to the purpose.

It’s also worth checking your visual identity to ensure they match the message and purpose. If not, it can create inconsistencies that damage your hard work.

Conclusion – Why you need Purpose-Driven Branding

A strong brand image is more than pretty visuals and a flashy website. It’s about how your audience feels when interacting with your brand and if they feel a meaningful connection. If they do, you’ll find both attraction and retention easier.

Purpose-driven branding helps brands to stand out by aligning them to what matters. Creating a more positive impact on client’s lives, society or the environment builds trust and better relationships.

A purpose demands action and helps focus your efforts on bettering the world – attractive qualities to potential clients. Like a quest, it helps you to keep focused and stay on track when things get tough.

So when you look at your strategy, think of your purpose as your heroic quest – an overriding drive you’ll stop at nothing to achieve. If you do, you’re more likely to get there and create a community along the way.

If you want to discover the deeper purpose your brand fulfils, you may want to look at my Brand Adventurer workshop. Learn more below.