Brand purpose. Does it actually sell more?

Having a purpose can make a brand more alive, more memorable and more appealing to customers.

A couple of examples: For years now, Dove has been carefully building brand fans, by pushing back against the idea of a ‘perfect body.’ Since its inception, Body Shop has stood against animal testing and cruelty. Both brands can be described as having an additional dimension to their personas: purpose.

What customers want

That doesn’t mean that brands without a stated purpose are necessarily unsuccessful. But in a competitive environment, and in an age where consumers are becoming increasingly socially conscious, brands with a purpose are likely to rise in popularity faster than those which do not.

Customers want companies to deliver sustainable change, because people are becoming more and more aware that companies can create change much faster than governments are willing or able to.

Health warning...

Beware: slathering on some ‘brand purpose’ like cheap make-up is likely to do more damage than good. Once customers see through the facade, there will be a sense of betrayal, followed by some difficult-to-repair brand damage. If brand purpose is to be meaningfully expressed, it must be genuine, believable and not overstated.

Brand purpose can offer big brands an opportunity to protect their position and continue growth in mature, competitive markets.

A genuine purpose can give small brands the ability to punch above their weight and fast-track their rise to fame.

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