Interview your company’s founder to find out why they started the brand in the first place.
Ask why they got into the product or service they now sell and when the a-ha moment happened that made them realize they had to do it. Keep asking follow-up why questions to get to the underlying purpose.
Survey your leadership team and employees about how they would define the core purpose of your business.
Ask questions like:
- What gets you out of bed every morning?
- What do you get excited about?
- What problem do you think we’re solving in the world?
- If our brand went away tomorrow, how would the world be worse off?
Survey your customers about how they would react and what their alternative would be if your brand went away.
Create a purpose statement that is clear, pithy, externally oriented, and enduring.
The statement should need no further explanation, be easily memorable, articulate the difference you make in the world, and remain true about your brand forever. Examples of successful purpose statements include:
- To make the world more open and connected. (Facebook)
- To bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete. (Nike)
- To make the tools for the mind that advance humankind. (Apple)
Run a brand value workshop with stakeholders. Ask everyone to list the values they think are important, then vote on the resulting collection of potential values.
Refine the values with a copywriter to boost uniqueness and clarity.
Brand values guide and shape the organization’s standards, beliefs, behaviors, expectations, and motivations to make decisions more clear.
Test whether your brand values can be applied to everyday life.
- Are they unique, guiding, clear and correlate with the experience you want to deliver?
- Would they have helped guide past or hypothetical company decisions?
- Do they capture the essence of our culture and brand?
- Do they set us apart from companies like us?
- Do they help our employees understand how they are expected to act?
- Do they inspire behaviors that will differentiate our brand?
- Are they credible, and can they be consistently applied?
Develop brand positioning by answering these questions: What do we have?, What does our audience want? and What can’t our competition deliver?
- What we have: Review your purpose, vision, values, and the product you offer.
- What our audience wants: Find the audience’s pain points or ambitions you can solve.
- What our competition can’t deliver: Find the difference in purpose and value propositions between your own brand and your closest three to four competitors.
Use whiteboarding, scratch paper or pencils, or workshops with executives and non-executive employees to find the answers to each of these questions. Customer and lead surveys, as well as interviews with members of your target audience who are unfamiliar with your brand, can also provide context and information.
Regularly review your positioning to account for changes in your market and competition.
Focus your branding efforts on your company and brand purpose for more effective marketing and decision making.
Research shows that consumers, especially younger generations, are significantly more likely to engage with and become loyal to purpose driven brands. Tying your brand to your purpose allows you to stand out more clearly to your audience and create a more unique positioning.