Brands are born at the back of a strong corporate strategy that follows into building a differentiated positioning and finally, articulated via the messaging, in that order. Many times, especially at startups or when a large enterprise has to pivot into a new direction, leaders start with changing the messaging. And messaging without changing the positioning and the corporate strategy is just like a banner on the home-page without much context given into the organisation culture code.
To build a purpose-driven brand, Marketing leaders need to build a business case for investing in the brand, tied closely to the purpose. And while defining and measuring the impact of a brand remains challenging, providing evidence that connects brand to macro variables like share price and revenue growth, establishes a strong case for investing in brands to generate financial value.
Thinking about your brand positioning tied to the corporate strategy, requires a shift in mindset that explores your business’s meaningful and unique connection with your audience. Simply put, it helps you decode why your brand exists. As transparency and authenticity increasingly dominate conversations, every brand is challenged with genuinely understanding the values of its target market.
Only by maintaining authenticity in your brand’s purpose can you truly begin the process of building long-term customer loyalty. Ultimately, a compelling purpose helps employees better understand their objectives while also making them feel personally accountable for the company’s vision, mission, and values.
In addition, strategic branding will also unlock multiple opportunities to meet and exceed business objectives. But collectively, this makes the role of purpose-driven brand strategy a vehicle for real business growth. All of which can be achieved by following these five basic principles.
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Build a solid foundation constantly and consistently
Many are guilty of falling into the trap of assuming that branding is just for big-name enterprises rather than small to medium-sized companies. However, branding is essential for any business serious about impacting its customers and making a difference in the world. With the right mindset, the prospect of boosting your sales, revenue, and company reputation should be an exciting journey for your company.
However, it’s crucial also to allow enough time for your teams to grow and give them time to develop the strong foundation needed for you to build your future successes. Your people need to be fully in sync with the brand DNA before they instinctively cultivate brand purpose into the process-building and operational skills that give the team ability to work on a problem from scratch.
Make no mistake; this could involve investing your time in bringing your teams together at least every six months to get the teams into the habit of process formation, disruption, and innovation. By embedding and continuously supporting a creative culture where processes are refined with each iteration and drive greater employee motivation, you will be building your future success from the ground up with a solid foundation.
Get the right team for now and the future.
Another big mistake most organisations make is hiring for current or past expertise. Instead, talent needs to be inducted, honed, and scaled, taking time and commitment to ensure everyone is on the same page. As a leader, you need to take the time to focus on your future goals today and ensure you hire progressively vs. passively.
Giving your team a sense of brand purpose right in the growth stage rather than the scaling stage will empower your teams with a sense of ownership and pride. If you do not help your people see the bigger picture or inspire a sense of purpose in their work, they will eventually seek a company that recognizes their talent and leave.
Internal branding matters
Engaging and aligning your employees to the company brand in today’s saturated market is arguably the single greatest priority to ensure business success. It’s important to remember that internal branding should be about connecting employees with your external brand and ensuring they understand and live the company’s purpose.
As a brand marketer, you will be pulled in different directions, from aiding in strategy to product development to customer support. These serve as brand building channels. To build a solid and successful brand, you will need to focus on developing a successful inside-out approach.
For most businesses, every employee must be in sync with the purpose, and the marketing team should not “build” a purpose in a silo. Instead, it should cascade to the entire organisation. The end goal is to be more strategic and consistent with impacting a tremendous internal brand that delivers external impact.
Connect and measure consistently
What is the purpose of a brand without impact on overall business growth? In today’s highly competitive and hybrid world, every business is faced with the critical task of impacting the full funnel through a sea of channels. But you can’t improve what you don’t measure. For these reasons alone, measuring purpose against company growth is critical for success.
While profit might not be the primary driver of purpose, it is one of the crucial aspects that enable the brand to continue making a difference. Therefore, the brand purpose must align with company objectives – strategy, product, channel, and people.
Balance data-driven decision making vs. creativity
With the pressure on teams to hit big numbers, data has taken centre stage in decision-making. At the same time, marketers need to acknowledge that certain intangibles are impossible to predict, and which can only be brought about by creativity.
Brand building is not an exact data-driven science. If it were formulaic, all brands would be the same. Creativity plays a significant role in driving purpose-driven brand building, and employers should enable it. Balancing creativity with data for optimal results is essential. But remember that focusing solely on data or solely on creativity both have weaknesses.
There is no denying that purpose-driven brand building drives real business growth. Although changing the mindset in your company culture can be daunting and even overwhelming, if you follow these five principles, you will help everyone understand your brand’s purpose and reap the benefits of doing so.