Why brands with a purpose do better

Michael Dale

Written by Michael Dale

Many start-ups launch with a clear sense of purpose. They have identified a need, for which they have provided an answer.

Some far-sighted individuals may even have a vision of how one day their products or services could change lives, and industries, or the planet we live on. After all, if we are going to build a better future, the world needs great ideas – ones that matter and solve real problems for real people.

All too often though that original ideal, the compass that once guided them, gets diluted or is poorly articulated or is simply uninspiring.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Simon Sinek

A truly enduring purpose is not one that describes what you do, it’s one defined by ‘why’ you do it. For example, Apple do not just make computers, they believe in unleashing our personal creativity. Nike do not just make sporting equipment, they believe they can inspire us to our best performances. As Simon Sinek famously proclaimed, organisations that are driven by ‘why’ have the power to tap into people at an emotional level and effect the change they long to see.

Why - how - what

Five ways in which brands with purpose perform better.

  1. Belief — brands with a clearly defined purpose attract like-minded people. Employees with shared beliefs are inspired to work harder toward a common goal. They are inclined to think more creatively, act proactively and take responsibility.
  2. Loyalty — customers that share your purpose are more likely to become brand advocates - the ‘holy grail’ of brand loyalty. All great tribes march behind a common cause.
  3. Culture — a brand that stands for something creates its own internal culture borne out of authenticity. It maintains a consistent voice in all its communications and relationships guided by a ‘true north’.
  4. Endurance — brands with a purpose endure. This happens even when their products and services adapt, change or get replaced. The value they provide to their customers transcends changes in the market.
  5. Momentum — purpose acts like the flywheel of an engine. It creates unstoppable momentum and streamlines activities. It aligns business, brand and marketing strategies behind a unifying goal. And it simplifies decision-making by discarding ideas that don’t fit.

See part two: How to uncover your brand purpose »

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