Why is it important to have a defined purpose?

This content is produced by a member of The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

Experiential agency GottaBe Marketing recently rebranded, offering an opportunity to reflect on the business’s 14-year journey. It decided that it also needed to redefine its purpose to align with the brand. But what is purpose, and how does defining it benefit your brand? GottaBe’s Martin Rothwell investigates.

Purpose is why you do what you do. It is the be-all and end-all of your brand and should be clear for consumers, so they know why you sell the products or services you offer. Everyone knows what you do; most people know how you do it; but, unless you make your purpose clear, they don’t know why you do it.

The ‘why’ is the most important factor when defining purpose. It can differentiate you and connect your purpose with your consumer. This is especially important in oversaturated markets. It’s why companies selling FMCG products gain B Corp certifications – because they know they need to have a purpose to differentiate.

Why is it important to define your brand purpose?

Consumers like to know from whom they are buying. A defined purpose shows them this. When you define your purpose, your business is telling the world who you are, what you do and, most importantly, why you do it. Many people do what you do; it’s the why that makes you stand out and consumers return to you.

You don’t need to pledge to save the world for your purpose to be recognized as worthy; your purpose can be simple, as long as it is clear and tells the world why you’re there. Your purpose must be true to what you aim to do and not be exclusively about pleasing others – this will be transparent to your consumers.

While you will need to revisit purpose as your brand grows, it should be the core of your business, not added later. With a generation not afraid to call companies out when they don’t do what they say they will, now’s the time to look at your purpose and ensure it’s still relevant to your brand. Consumers are more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions, so they take the time to research the brands they spend their money with.

How can purpose benefit your brand?

Purpose raises brand awareness and recall, and increases brand loyalty. If you have a story to tell about the background behind your brand, then share it. Consumers want to know.

Put a face to your brand with who you are. Your consumers will feel like they’re connecting with a real person and growing a deeper connection with your brand. Following the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in the connections consumers want from brands, so showcasing your purpose in a way that allows them to see who you are will benefit you massively.

Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins as well as the large ones when you hit those milestones that make up your purpose. Purpose adds value to your brand as it confirms who you are and adds another level to your brand for consumers. Showcase this to benefit from reaching goals; your consumers will want to see and should be reminded why your brand should be their first choice.

How to define brand purpose

As a new brand, you may not know what your purpose is. Not everyone started a company after a revelation or based on a need to change the world, but you will have a reason why you chose to do what you do. Look at these three simple steps and see whether you can reach a defined purpose that tells the world who you are:

  • First, start with the ‘why.’ This is the most crucial aspect of your purpose. Why are you doing this? Why did you start your business?

  • Second, once you’ve discovered why you really do what you do, ask yourself, ‘what do I actually do?’ We don’t mean your job role or the products you sell. We mean: what do you provide? Highlight why you’re the best at this

  • Finally, think about how you are different from all the others – and tell your consumers