Brand Purpose and Brand Mission: The Driving Forces of Successful Businesses
In business landscape, an organisations mission must go beyond profit and sales. Brand purpose and brand mission are two integral components that not only define a company’s identity but also serve as guiding forces for its actions and decisions. In this essay, we will delve into the concepts of brand purpose and brand mission, exploring their significance, how they differ, and how they contribute to the success of businesses.
Understanding Brand Purpose
Brand purpose is the fundamental reason why a company exists beyond making money. It is a concise statement that captures the broader societal impact a brand aspires to make. A well-defined brand purpose articulates the company’s commitment to a cause, a set of values, or a positive change it seeks to bring to the world. This purpose transcends the product or service offered and resonates with the emotional and ethical dimensions of both customers and employees.
A powerful brand purpose is not only inspirational but also authentic. It reflects the company’s values and beliefs, aligning with the core identity of the brand. For example, the outdoor clothing company Patagonia’s purpose is “We’re in business to save our home planet.” This purpose reflects their commitment to environmental sustainability, which is deeply embedded in their products, business practices, and corporate culture.
The Significance of Brand Purpose
Brand purpose holds significant importance in the modern business landscape for several reasons:
- Customer Attraction and Loyalty: Companies with a compelling brand purpose tend to attract customers who share similar values and beliefs. When customers connect with a brand’s purpose, they are more likely to become loyal, repeat buyers and advocates.
- Employee Engagement: Employees find greater meaning in their work when it aligns with a company’s purpose. This engagement can lead to higher job satisfaction, productivity, and talent retention.
- Differentiation: In a crowded market, a well-defined brand purpose helps a company stand out by showcasing its unique identity and values. It can be a key differentiator for consumers making purchasing decisions.
- Long-Term Sustainability: A strong brand purpose can guide a company’s long-term strategy and help it adapt to changing market conditions. It provides a solid foundation for decision-making.
- Positive Impact: Companies with a clear brand purpose often engage in initiatives and activities that contribute positively to society and the environment. This not only benefits the world but also enhances the company’s reputation.
Brand Mission: The How and What of a Brand’s Actions
Brand mission complements brand purpose by specifying the concrete actions a company takes to fulfil its purpose. While brand purpose provides the “why,” brand mission outlines the “how” and “what” of a company’s endeavours. It is essentially a strategic roadmap that defines a company’s goals, objectives, and the means by which it intends to make its purpose a reality.
A brand mission statement outlines a company’s core activities and its approach to delivering value to its customers. It often addresses the following aspects:
- Products/Services: What does the company offer to its customers, and how does it meet their needs or solve their problems?
- Customer Experience: How does the company aim to make its customers feel, and what steps does it take to ensure a positive experience?
- Quality and Innovation: What measures are in place to maintain the quality of products or services, and how does the company stay innovative and relevant in its industry?
- Market Positioning: How does the company position itself in the market compared to competitors, and what strategies does it employ to maintain or enhance that position?
- Corporate Responsibility: What actions does the company take to fulfil its brand purpose, whether related to sustainability, social responsibility, or community engagement?
A well-crafted brand mission statement not only provides direction for employees but also serves as a communication tool to convey the company’s commitment to its customers. For example, Google’s mission is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This mission guides their development of products and services, such as search engines, that aim to achieve this ambitious goal.
The Interplay Between Brand Purpose and Brand Mission
Brand purpose and brand mission are closely intertwined, and they work in tandem to drive a company’s success. The brand purpose sets the overarching direction and moral compass, while the brand mission details the practical steps taken to fulfil that purpose.
The brand purpose inspires and motivates both internal and external stakeholders. It provides a source of inspiration and pride for employees, aligning their work with a higher cause. Customers are drawn to a brand when they perceive a shared purpose, one that resonates with their own values and beliefs.
The brand mission, on the other hand, is the engine that propels the company forward. It outlines the strategies, goals, and initiatives that bring the brand purpose to life. It defines how the purpose is executed and realized in practical terms.
Two Success Stories of Purpose-Driven Brands
Several purpose-driven brands have demonstrated the power of a well-defined brand purpose and mission. These companies have not only achieved financial success but have also made a positive impact on society and the environment. Some noteworthy examples include:
- Patagonia: As mentioned earlier, Patagonia’s brand purpose is centered on environmental sustainability. Their mission includes creating high-quality products, leading by example in sustainable business practices, and advocating for environmental protection.
- The Body Shop: The Body Shop’s brand purpose is to “Enrich, Not Exploit,” which guides their commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices. Their mission involves sourcing natural and ethically-produced ingredients, reducing environmental impact, and supporting human rights.