Why Brand Purpose Needs to be End-to-End

Author: William Seabrook
Date: 00.00.0000
Is there a good reason for your brand to be in business beyond making money? Finding and defining your brand purpose is about the why of your brand, rather than what it does, or how it does it.
But for brand purpose to work, you must also express this effectively. Brand purpose needs to be end-to-end, so that it resonates with your customers just as much as it helps you define who you are. Yes, it works as a powerful motivator internally, but if it doesn’t resonate outwardly, then it isn’t doing all that it should.
Does a Mission Statement Capture Brand Purpose?
In theory, the mission statement explains a company’s reason for existing, its fundamental purpose. Except, that many mission statements fall far short of this. They are the ultimate in generalisations, so depleted of detail or specifics that they are virtually meaningless.
The challenge in creating a meaningful mission statement is in distilling the essence of your brand into a few sentences, or even a single phrase.
Its visual equivalent is logo design, if done properly. The mission statement should stand out as well as be a concise capture of purpose. Therefore, undifferentiated phrases about being the best, or putting customers first fail dismally as mission statements.

And whatever the mission statement is, it should work as a marketing tool. It isn’t of any use if it’s only displayed on the wall of the company’s office. It needs to communicate brand purpose to customers and prospects.

The short answer is: yes, a mission statement can capture brand purpose, but you shouldn’t mistake it for brand purpose.
Brand Purpose Builds Dialogues
Brand purpose should come through in everything you do. It should be something you can express and apply consistently. This is how your customers become familiar with it, and how you then can build brand recognition and trust. This is where the why of your brand drives what you do, how you do it, and defines where you want to get to.
It isn’t a slogan, it’s a starting point for building a dialogue with your customers. It must answer the question: why should you matter to them?
If you understand and can express this, it acts as a powerful marketing filter, making an incisive connection with your target audience.
What Do Your Customers Want?
Coming back to the mission statement, it’s important to understand that it’s part of your brand’s public face. Therefore, it should help to fulfil your customers’ needs by giving them added value and helping them buy into you, as well as buy from you. But this alone will not convince customers of your brand purpose. It has to be demonstrable and actionable.

The decisions you make, and how you execute them should align with your brand purpose; to the extent that they embody it for your customers. This is what give brand purpose meaning, and can transform it into a potent marketing tool. In effect, brand purpose becomes its own reward: your strategies and actions reflect it, which strengthens it in your customers’ minds, and makes them more likely to buy from you.
Connecting with the Mindful Consumer
During an economic crisis, the conventional assumption is that consumers are in retreat. But something different is happening. More consumers are now looking for value, but not of the pile-it-high-and-sell-it-cheap variety.

What they want is proof that they’ve made the right choice, and that what they have is in keeping with their sense of self. Therefore, they do their research, and the internet is a massive facilitator of this. 67% of the buyer’s journey occurs digitally. More consumers want a sense of connection with the brands they use. Brand purpose should be helping brands do this.

Demonstrating value means more than marketing, however. It requires a complete absorption of the customer experience into everything you do.
How to Build Brand Purpose
Go back to the beginning. What made you decide on this course of action? What made you think it would work in the first place?

Who was your ideal customer?

All brands evolve, and where you started may look very different from where you’ve ended up. But sometimes, to grasp how things are now, you need to understand how you have arrived at this point. This isn’t the only component in building brand purpose, but it can help you gain the clarity you need to define, and express, your brand purpose for the future.
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