One of the most difficult things a brand can do is create a genuine connection with its audience, or in today’s rapidly shifting world, it’s young workforce. As Millennials (age 23-38) take over the workforce and Gen Z (age 7-23) begin to join the workforce, it’s become clear that brands need to create brand purpose in order to entice new employees and customers.
Brands that demonstrate a positive impact on people’s lives grow 2.5 times more than brands with a low impact, have happier employees (9 in 10 employees would take a pay cut to have more meaningful work), and outperform the stock market by 134%.
It’s safe to say brand purpose isn’t a buzzword.
Ryan Ginsberg, Global Director, Paid Social at Hootsuite said, “Brand purpose cannot be treated like a marketing campaign. Consumers will see right through a brand that tries to jump on the bandwagon of a popular cause. Authenticity is key. And organizations that perform the best have brand purpose engrained throughout their organization.”
Some of the world’s most successful brands are known for more than their products, including Starbucks, Walgreens, The Honest Company, Salesforce, Dove and Ben & Jerry’s. Two examples of how these brands have grown their brand purpose include:
- While Dove is originally known for its soap and hygiene products, it’s grown to mean so much more than its products. Dove’s vision is to help women around the world by redefining beauty standards and increasing self-esteem.
- Ben & Jerry’s is another excellent example of a brand that was born purposeful. The company has a history of being politically active. They were publishing social content about reforming the criminal justice system back in January.
So how can you grow your brand’s purpose?
While Google’s motto is no longer “don’t be evil,” it’s still a foundation in which any company can build from. Young employees and consumers, in particular, are more passionate than ever and they want to buy from or work for brands that are doing good — or at least not being evil. They want to connect with brands, to feel understood and cared for. We recommend taking the following steps to help grow a purpose-driven business:
As the leader of the company, identify what you truly stand for and then build your business around that purpose while making sure to communicate and act on it every chance you get.
Listen to your audience on social media to identify the causes they care about. From there, you can align your brand with what matters most to your customers and employees.
Act in a genuine and consistent way. How many brands were tweeting about BLM in mid-March, but haven’t said or done anything since? Consumers will recognize the dog and pony show and will act accordingly.
Engage employees by getting them involved in advocacy that helps drive forward your brand purpose. If your employees don’t believe in the brand’s purpose and don’t live it every day, your consumers won’t either.
Do you have questions about your company’s branding strategy? Contact us!