Why Purpose-Driven Brands Are More Successful: Shine A Spotlight on Your Mission

Why do purpose-driven brands do better in the marketplace? Because today’s consumers want to do business with a brand that cares about more than the bottom line. In a world with so many choices, consumers are in the driver’s seat. They’re looking for authenticity and for brands that align with their values. This is true whether you’re in the B2B or B2C marketplace.

The preference for purpose-driven companies extends to investors too. ESG investing has become one of the most popular investment trends today and for the same reasons. Investors want to put their money in companies that align with their values.

Having a brand purpose helps you create an emotional relationship with your consumers, build brand loyalty, and increase sales. Your brand purpose also helps to distinguish you from the competition.

You might be thinking

  • “I sell jewelry,”
  • “I sell art,”
  • “I’m a coach/counselor,”
  • “so, what does this have to do with me, and how do I incorporate purpose into my marketing messaging?”

This article will discuss why purpose-driven brands are more successful and how you can shine a spotlight on your mission, no matter your niche.

Consumers Are More Likely To Purchase From Purpose-Drive Brands

The Strength of Purpose Study,  a landmark, comprehensive research study commissioned by the Zeno Group, demonstrates why purpose-driven brands are more successful. The study included 8,000 global consumers and 75 companies and brands. Survey respondents resided in the US, Singapore, Canada, France, China, United Kingdom, and Malaysia. They were asked to rate more than 75 brands. The study revealed that consumers are

  • four times more likely to purchase from a purpose-driven brand
  • six times more likely to protect that brand during challenging times
  • 4.5 times more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends
  • four times more likely to trust that brand.

Bottom line: purpose-driven brands build a team of ambassadors, expand their brand identity, increase sales, and are more successful.

The Strength of Purpose Study revealed some other interesting findings

  • 83% responded that companies should only earn a profit if they also deliver a positive impact.
  • At the same time, only 37% of respondents believe that brands have a strong purpose, meaning that the pool of potential companies is much smaller than you think.

By not shining a spotlight on your purpose and mission, you could be missing out. You might have an incredible and unique product, great price, or offer an outstanding service or experience, but if you’re not a purpose-driven brand, consumers might overlook you.

There are Generational Differences

The study found that 92% of Gen-Z and 90% of Millennials said they would actively support a purpose-driven brand vs. 77% of Baby Boomers.

Additionally, 70% of Gen-Z and Millennials believe a brand should have a purpose they personally believe in, compared to only 48% of Baby Boomers.

Purpose-Driven Brands Need to Walk Their Talk

One last finding of note is that 77% of consumers want to see corporate leaders “walking their talk.” So it’s not enough to talk about your brand purpose in your marketing materials, strategic plans, and advertisements. Instead, they want to see company leaders embody their brand’s purpose in their personal lives, to “really believe and live those values.”

A Deloitte study found that consumers make decisions based on “how brands treat their people, how they treat the environment, and how they support the communities in which they operate.”

purpose-driven brands

“Our consumer pulsing survey revealed that more than 80 percent of consumers would be willing to pay more if a brand raised its prices to be more environmentally and socially responsible or to pay higher wages to its employees.” (Deloitte Consultancy 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report)


Elon Musk kicked off his startup with a mission to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” All of Musk’s communications on print or social media, live or recorded, reiterate that Tesla’s goal is to change the world, not just produce cutting-edge vehicles. He embodies his brand’s purpose in his everyday life.

Investors Prefer Purpose-Driven Brands

The shift in the investment world likely began with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s letter delivered in 2018 to business leaders. In his letter, Fink said, “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

The change didn’t happen overnight, but the spark Fink’s letter ignited is mainstream among companies and investors. ESG is one of the most popular investment trends today. Investors want to plant their money in companies that align with their values. They look for companies that are about something else beyond the bottom line. Furthermore, ESG shareholders see that the return on their investment is positive. Brands with a purpose outperformed the stock market by 134%. So, investors can align their money with their values and not lose out on the return.

How To Express Your Purpose

As mentioned earlier, your brand purpose needs to be authentic and one that you live in your personal life. So it’s more than putting a tagline on your website or printed materials. Your purpose has to be embedded in every aspect of your business.

And, purpose-driven is not the same as corporate social responsibility. It’s about your reason for being. Consumers will notice if your purpose is just marketing jargon.

Your purpose can be

  • Why you’re in business or started your company,
  • Why do you choose to sell the products or services that you offer?

This brand purpose is anchored in the consumer.

Purpose can also be why you exist in the world—what do you hope to change with your products or services?

This brand purpose is focused on global change.

You can be a purpose-driven brand that combines the two: consumer-focused and global. For example, Ella’s Kitchen makes organic baby and toddler food. Their mission is “to create healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.” At the same time, on a more global scale, their purpose is to “ensure an ethically sourced supply chain.”

But how do you create a brand message that expresses your mission and resonates with your consumer audience?

  • Find out what your customers care about.
  • Use analytics, surveys, and customer feedback to help you express your mission, values, and purpose in language that resonates with your consumer audience.

Consumers are searching for meaningful relationships with the brands they use. Be authentic. Get into genuine conversations. Open the door for your customers to talk to you.

Start talking about your purpose, vision, mission in your brand communities. Present it in such as way that you start a conversation around that purpose. Incorporate your brand purpose in the social media stories you post and encourage your consumers to share their stories about how they align with your brand purpose.

Let’s return to that earlier question.

  • “I sell jewelry,”
  • “I sell art,”
  • “I’m a coach/counselor,”
  • “so, what does this have to do with me, and how do I incorporate purpose into my marketing messaging?”

You sell jewelry:

  • Why did you decide to open a jewelry store or become a jeweler?
  • Think about what drove you to this niche, what excites you each day, what keeps you going through the tough times?
  • What do you believe is the purpose of jewelry? What benefit does it bring to people?
  • Are you careful about the raw materials you use in your jewelry design or the origins of the jewelry pieces you sell?
  • Do you give back to your community or have special sales that benefit charities?

You can utilize similar brainstorming questions whether you’re an artist, coach, clothing retailer or any other small business owner.

The answers will help you create messages that emphasize your vision and mission so that consumers looking for purpose-driven brands will find you.

Bottom Line

After almost two years of quarantines and closures, the global community is yearning for connection. Sharing your purpose is an authentic way to create meaningful connections between your brand and your consumers.

What is your brand mission? How are you sharing it with your consumers? Use the comment box below to let us know.

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