Brand purpose has become a bit of a buzz term recently, but exactly does it mean, and are importantly does your business need one?
Brand purpose is often defined as the reason your business exists beyond making money. All businesses need to make a profit to exist, but their is more to life than money so we are told. And that is OK, we want to think we are making a difference in the world, the problem is that this has been elevated by many to unrealistic and unachievable heights.
Take as an example, Starbucks, whose mission is ” To inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time”. As worthy an ambition as this might be nobody is really going to believe (or care) that a cup of coffee can do this. Far better for example to aim to “make the best cup of coffee possible to give our customers a great start to the day” This is a purpose that customers can believe in and is more relevant to a coffee selling business.
There are exceptions where more lofty ideals do work, but this is because these ideals have been built into the brand from the very start. Patagonia is a good example where sustainability, reuse an environmental issues were always part of the brand, therefore their mission statement “We’re In Business To Save Our Home Planet” has credibility. However, this is the exception rather than the rule.
So when you think about the purpose of your business, it’s OK to say we make a great product or deliver a great service that makes some small difference in our customers lives, they will thank you for it, won’t criticise you because you aren’t changing the whole world.