brand purpose

Top 5 Reasons Why Brand Purpose is The Essential Driver in a Fast Changing Uncertain World

Brand Purpose can accelerate growth by 69% compared to the growth of brands without purpose. That’s the conclusion of consumer goods giant and marketing expert Unilever — evidenced by the exceptional profits achieved from its most profitable purpose driven brands[1]. So imagine what time spent on identifying and developing your brand purpose could do for the commercial results in your business growth — particularly when trading in a more challenging market.

Brand purpose is not merely something fluffy and aspirational, with an ‘eye-roll’ towards the ‘creative side’ of the team. It has moved to the centre stage, as evidenced by some of the leading brands around the world, be they heavyweight global powerhouses or smaller fast growing disruptors, because it directly impacts the bottom line positively to drive growth.

In times of increased adversity, like the ones we’re living through at present, clarity of purpose becomes the anchor in a storm for both the people in your organisation and your customers. 

When you, your people and your customers identify and resonate with your raison d’être, your bigger why — the reason you exist — it gives them something bigger than themselves to focus on because your purpose is driven by the ‘greater good’. This is why businesses with clarity of purpose consistently outperform those without. It’s evidenced in the commercial facts and statistics readily available in the market[2]. Purpose enables an organisation and its customers to focus on what really matters, pulls people together through thick and thin — all of which improves long-term performance and commercial returns. 

brand purpose

Image via ©Unilever

Big, successful companies like Unilever have made brand purpose central to what they do, as you can see in this video. Because brand purpose is such a big driver behind commercial success we’re sharing key insights in this article so you can reevaluate where your business and brand sits in this context. In short, this article will help you understand why brand purpose is central to your company’s long term success, particularly in uncertain times.

Related: Branding Psychology in Adversity – 7 Ways You Can Embrace Behavioural Shifts to Grow Your Business 

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal customers effectively, particularly in adversity, so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:

  1. Build your brand for you – find out more here or get in touch [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724
  2. Empower you to build your brand – check out the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind here. This is a live, interactive programme online where you work on your brand with us codifying and mapping out your brand strategy for business growth. Alternatively, join our online half-day Branding Accelerator Masterclass for a fast-injection of brand building essentials. Ask about our Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment Masterclass
  3. Want a DIY solution? Check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here

Branding Psychology

“We participated in the Persona 7-Figure Business Building & Brand Strategy Mastermind 12 week online course. The 12 week program suited us as the weekly accountability spurred us on to get work done between sessions.

We found the flow of the course appropriate for the development of the brand through the various areas of the business.
Already, we have developed our Customers Persona’s and our Brand Persona adding value to the business.
The course has helped us make more astute decisions in the business such as restructuring our product offerings so we grow more profitable lines and remove those with lower margins.
Lorraine is very helpful and accessible as a tutor with follow up after each working session and the half day masterclass. Most of all the clarity achieved has been most invaluable.

In the first two weeks of March 2020, before Covid-19 required us to close, we were 300% up in our online sales compared to the whole of March 2019 and after reopening April 2020 we were back to 108% by the end of May 2020 — results achieved from applying our brand strategy.

Sinead Heffernan
Managing Director
Sinead HeffernanManaging Director

1. Brand Purpose Explained: What It is and How it Drives Productivity, Customer Loyalty, Talent Attraction and Retention

Brand purpose is one of the elements of a brand structure. Often when people talk about “brand” they think it simply means a logo, website, brochure or brand name. But branding is not just design or visual brand identity. In fact, branding strategy is critically important because it operates in tandem with the business strategy so it enables a business to achieve long-term commercial success. Brand strategy helps you ensure that the insight and thinking that sits behind your brand can be brought to life in ways which helps drive the business forward.

Related: Why Do I Need A Brand? I’ve Got A Great Product and a Logo

Brand purpose is distinct from closely related brand elements including brand mission and brand values. Although these are connected and are part of the overall brand structure, they perform different roles. The clearer that you are about each of these elements and how they support your business growth, the clearer your brand communications will be and consequently your profit growth. 

In short, when you have clearly identified:

  1. Who you are
  2. What you stand for
  3. Why you exist
  4. How you’re different
  5. Why you’re the perfect choice for your ideal customers
  6. Why you’re sought after by talent as a great organisation to be part of

the more successful your business becomes (assuming you have a great product or service).

The fact is, a strong brand consistently drives lead generation, referrals, commands a premium and increases sales amongst its ideal customers so clarity around your brand purpose is a critical part of your business success — particularly in the current hostile trading environment.

brand purpose

Image via ©Revolut

A good example of this is the fintech company Revolut. A core part of their brand purpose is about making it super easy for customers to manage their entire financial life in a single app from spending, budgeting and foreign exchange across multiple currencies to easy-access stock trading — all very cost effectively.  This brand purpose is powerful for B2C consumers who dislike high costs and slow clunky traditional banking with the occasional costly foreign payments, but the pain point the brand purpose speaks to is even more acute for B2B customers, for whom frictionless banking, great service and cross-border payments are a more common headache. This illustrates how Revolut’s brand purpose has clearly informed its clear articulation of its B2B offering Revolut for Business.

Related: Brand Profiling, How Brand Performance and Purpose Are Inextricably Linked

Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy so you can lead in adversity to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to re-evaluate, build, adapt or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our live, interactive online branding masterclasses because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium.

In fact, the live, interactive online Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is all about fast-tracking you, your brand and your business through the brand building, agile branding strategy process using professional big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results so you can grow your business faster and more effectively.

The programme enables you to make your brand highly visible, different, credible, trustworthy, memorable and much loved amongst your ideal customers so you can become more profitable and leave your competitors way behind. Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand of preferred choice commanding a premium.

If you want a tailor-made solution specifically for your brand then we also provide inhouse bespoke Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Intensives working with you and your team so you can grow your business faster and more profitably. Contact us to discover more [email protected] or +353 1 8322724

MGI Learning“Lorraine Carter has been the catalyst and an inspiration for MGI Learning to clearly define our brand.

Working with Lorraine has been both enlightening and enjoyable. Her blueprint for defining a brand is extremely comprehensive and challenged us to think very deeply about what we offer to our customers and really understand what underpins our success.

Lorraine is extremely knowledgeable, very focused and supportive and leads you through the process and ensured we got maximum benefits from the investment we made.”

Shona Cooper
Shona CooperCEO

2. Powerful Brand Purpose is Revealed, Not Invented

One of the reasons some business leaders, owners and entrepreneurs (justifiably) feel cynical when they hear about things like brand purpose, brand mission and brand values is because they perceive these to be simply fancy, fluffy statements whose words and slick images have been dreamt up by advisers rather than reflecting what the business is and what it wants to be. 

In truth, that is sometimes the case. There’s been many occasions when we’ve been working with a client on re-evaluating their brand structure and strategy through a brand audit health check and found a lot of generic, largely meaninglessly ‘words’ that provide no substance, commercial direction or value in the day-to-day running of the business.

That sort of generic brand purpose or values will not deliver the business results we’re talking about here. Like most things in life, there must be real substance because people either ignore or see beyond the inauthentic or meaningless glib word. At best they’ll ignore or worse be actively alienated by something that clearly fails to deliver. 

However, having said that, every day there are millions of businesses who are living and breathing a real, powerful brand purpose. As an SME, often the reason the business started in the first place was because one or more founders were very clear about their purpose and what they wanted their nascent company to do in the world.

Because brand purpose comes from your actual purpose, it shouldn’t feel artificially invented. That doesn’t mean you won’t need to think about what it is – like a lot of things about why we do what we do in our lives, it can be easier to feel than it is to articulate to other people. But a brand purpose you can use and benefit from will be an articulation of why you get up for work with a bounce in your stride, even on a grey cold day — which reflects how you, your people and customers really feel.

brand purpose

Image ©McNair via Joe Public website

Consider as a case study the British outdoor clothing manufacturer McNair Merino Mountain Shirts. A lot of companies make clothing and even outdoor clothing, which can be a challenging business with western manufacturing costs. McNair succeeds in part because its high-end line of mountaineering shirts made with quality materials like merino wool reflect a very clear brand purpose of providing high quality products for a very particular situation and purchaser persona.

Related: Building a Brand with Big-Brand Know-How on a Shoestring and Doing More With Less

3. How Brand Purpose Helps in a Fast Changing World

2020 has seen us living in a time of considerable uncertainty, from global tensions to Covid-19 and financial freefall from economies around the world in total lockdown. When so much change and uncertainty happens together it triggers a fundamental human reaction of fear so people look for more stability, consistency and reliability. 

In a storm, people need to feel secure with things which are grounded and not up for grabs. That is one way in which your clear, compelling brand purpose sets you apart positively, even amidst huge uncertainty. Brand purpose enables clearer brand positioning and helps you achieve higher price points as customers buy into the greater purpose behind what you do or sell because it’s no longer just another generic product or service.

Brand purpose is a great talking point in your brand communications. It can help you deliver authentic, persuasive communications when people’s needs are changing and authenticity matters even more than ‘normal’. It can also make them feel part of something that matters, that they’re not just mindless, faceless consumers.

brand purpose

Image via ©Kingdom Coffee

An interesting case study of an SME with powerful brand purpose is Kingdom Coffee. They process and sell fair trade coffee beans and their target market is Christians. That is a clear, specific, actionable brand purpose obviously driven by a sense of brand activism. To see how a brand purpose can help an SME in a practical way, watch this video where Kingdom Coffee explain their choice of trade show. Having a specific brand purpose helps them identify where they are most likely to find their ideal customers — those who share a sense of relatable importance and meaning around that brand purpose.

Incidentally, this case study demonstrates another point, which is that a brand purpose does not have to be massive with global impact or focus to work. It can be equally powerful at a smaller, more local level. In fact, having a narrow, focussed, specific brand purpose can help you prioritise brand communication and activities in a way that a very broad-based, aspirational brand purpose will often not deliver.

Related: Branding in a Crisis, 5 Practical Steps so You Match to the Moment Brilliantly

4. The Reason Why Brand Purpose is Essential and Not Merely Optional

Brand purpose is not a fluffy nice to have, but a practical business-building tool which engages both your customers and also internal stakeholders such as your top talent — employees. 

For customers, purpose equals purchase: brands with purpose do better than brands without, so purpose is proven to be good for business [3].

Brand purpose also helps attract and retain talent, and drive loyalty when used in internal branding.

The barriers to entry for brands are lower than ever, with easy distribution like Amazon, micro manufacturing and service businesses. So in a world where brands are easy and cheap to start, it is hard to stand out. Instead of screaming louder, identify and create something worth talking about. Be The One, the brand that your customers, stakeholders and team want to be part — achieve this tunnel vision focus amongst your tribe by being unique or uniquely expressed through your brand purpose.

A case study from Covid-19 is the U.K. supermarket chain Morrisons. They tweaked their brand purpose to ‘feed the nation’. This is a rallying call which is attractive and engaging amongst employees because they are also feeling vulnerable along with their families and friends who are also worrying about being fed. It proves that brand purpose can help prevent a potential crisis becoming an actual brand crisis.

Related: The Age Of Internal Branding And Selling It From The Inside Out 

If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high performing, highly profitable standout brand so you’re unstoppable in uncertainty, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse — Be The One — leading in adversity.

  1. Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person or online
  2. Allow us to create a customised plan for you
  3. Let’s implement the plan together 
  4. Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

Lorraine Carter is a branding expert and international speaker delivering talks live online that inspire and motivate along with live, interactive online masterclasses and workshops that inform and support transformational outcomes fast, and consultancy expertise that solves problems — using agile branding strategy underpinned by professional big-brand know-how — so you can outshine, outperform and leave your competitors way behind.

She enables you to Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand — commanding a premium with 7-figure growth.


Brand Identity“Lorraine Carter is my branding mentor, she’s the person that showed me how to improve my personal and business brands — they were a mess when she initially looked at what we had — and she blew my mind! I’ve paid high fees to other ‘supposed’ brand consultants who only had 30% of her in-depth expertise and they couldn’t deliver on what we needed.
She gives you the key foundations and lays things out in an easy to use system which gives you all the essentials needed to make your brand stand out, to make your brand highly visible. If you use her branding strategy system you’ll soon have everyone talking about your product or service to become No.1 in your market.
Lorraine takes no name companies and transforms them into household brand names. Most importantly, she’s great fun, absolutely passionate about branding and she’ll entertain you whilst demystifying branding and making the unknown clearer — because designing a logo is only a tiny part of your entire branding process.
I would highly recommend the Mastermind programme to every entrepreneur who wants to be more successful and have a clear message driven by their brand.
Thank you so much Lorraine for all your help. We wouldn’t be so well known in the USA, UK or Romania if it wasn’t for your direction and input to develop and build our brand.”
Ozana Giusca
Ozana GiuscaFounder/CEO

5. Does Your Brand Have a Strong Brand Purpose Giving Your Customers a Compelling Reason to Buy Your Product or Service?

Having read this far, you can see that brand purpose can be a highly motivating driver and effective brand building tool for even the smallest of businesses. If you haven’t clearly identified or articulated your brand purpose then now is a good time to get it done. If you have one, then perhaps now is a time for revisiting it because it may not have the same relevance in our fast changing world. Just as your own purpose in life can shift depending on the circumstances, brand purposes are dynamic things which can evolve over time — particularly when living with great uncertainty or heightened adversity.

brand purpose

Image via Qlik, © Save The Children

Brand purpose can be simple, it can be easy to express and it can be modest. So articulating it shouldn’t feel big, scary or outside your capabilities. But it can still be very powerful and lead to highly compelling brand communication, as this video from charity Save the Children shows. The charity’s clear , compelling brand purpose is obvious all the way from its brand name to its brand communication.

Related: How Healthy Is Your Brand? 7 Vital Signs to Measure Today Using a Brand Audit Health Check

Final Word

Brand Purpose is a Key Driver for Building Your Business in Adversity

When we find ourselves in adverse times, it can be easy to worry that business will get much more challenging. In some ways that can be true, but adversity also offers the perfect opportunity to refocus on what matters most – including brand purpose. Whether you have used it for a while or are exploring its role for the first time in adversity, brand purpose is a straightforward but powerful, practical tool to help your business be more successful so you can be Unstoppable in Uncertainty — Be The One.

Questions to Consider

  1. What businesses have you seen whose brand purpose informed or influenced your decisions as a customer?
  2. Does your business have a founding story with a strong brand purpose weaving through it?
  3. Can you summarise your brand purpose in a single sentence? Is it compelling, easy to understand and remember by your team and customers alike?
  4. How well does your brand purpose match the current environment?
  5. Are you using your brand purpose as a competitive advantage?
  6. Would a brand audit health check help you refine or reposition your brand so you can be more successful and profitable?

Your Persona Client Satisfaction Guarantee

  1. When you work with us we’ll create a customised brand building plan and strategy with clear investment for you tailored to your specific requirements and preferences
  2. You’ll know each step of your brand building journey before we start because we’ll discuss it, document it and agree on it with you before work commences
  3. You’ll have timelines, key milestones and deliverables to evaluate and approve for each stage and part of your brand building process
  4. Because we know the unexpected sometimes happens we can make adjustments along the way if you need it and if something extra is requested we’ll ensure you’re fully appraised about what that entails before committing
  5. As we achieve pre-agreed objectives you’ll be able to evaluate your brand building work and strategy in progress, coupled with the outcomes to ensure return on investment

Get in touch today because we’d love to enable you to re-evaluate and build your standout, powerhouse brand so you can Be The One — increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind.

Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about our VIP Brand Strategy Re-Evaluation.