It’s one of the most crucial factors in differentiating your company. Without it, your prospective customers have little reason to engage with your brand.
You struggle to figure out what your brand’s niche is. Like an architect, you try to design and construct a brand that will be a true delight to your audience.
But something is missing. Something every successful brand needs.
It’s called purpose, and your brand needs it badly if it’s going to thrive. Lack of a distinct and strong purpose can literally kill your marketing efforts.
Attempting to market a purposeless brand is like trying to sell a luxury vehicle without the luxury. There’s just no reason for someone to choose you over your competition.
Who Is Neil Patel?
I spoke with Neil Patel about this very issue. Not only is Neil Patel an Internet marketing wizard, he has founded multiple successful business enterprises such as Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, and Quick Sprout. If Neil Patel has something to say about purposeful branding (and he does!), you need to listen.
What Is Brand Purpose?
Simply put, brand purpose is the reason your company exists outside of its products and services. It’s about more than just making money. It transcends the profit motive.
Modern brands are finding it more and more necessary to embrace a purpose that is intended to make a difference in the world around them. It’s no longer enough to just offer great products and services. Consumers want to know what your company stands for. This is what brand purpose is about.
Why Brands Need Purpose
Why is it important to find your brand’s purpose? Because you need to be the one who defines who your brand is. As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for crafting your brand’s image, reputation, and destiny.
When asked why it’s important for a brand to have a purpose, Patel said, “If you don’t define your own brand, the marketplace will define it for you.”
It’s true. The marketplace will define your brand, and it probably won’t define it in a way that benefits your company.
The Most Important Component Of Brand Purpose
When asked what the most important component of a brand’s purpose should be, Neil Patel emphasized the importance of emotion. There should be something about your brand that appeals to the emotions of your audience.
“People should feel something when they engage with your brand,” Patel said.
There should be certain emotions that people experience because of your brand.
It makes sense. Contrary to popular belief, most of a consumer’s buying decisions are based on emotion. Sure, we’d all like to think we’re 100 percent rational as consumers, but the truth is: we’re not.
It doesn’t mean that it’s not important to make rational arguments that support our claims. It just means that we can’t afford to ignore the emotional aspect of the buying process. If we don’t learn how to engage with our customers on an emotional level, we will lose opportunities to reach more people.
How To Discover Your Brand’s Purpose
The idea of having a brand purpose sounds great, but how does an entrepreneur figure out what their brand’s purpose should be? It’s not easy to decide what your brand should stand for.
According to Patel, “Brand purpose should come from your company values. Figure out what your values are and this will shape your brand’s purpose.”
The great thing about this is that you don’t have to do it alone. Realistically, your brand’s values should come from your employees and leadership.
Patel believes that your team should have input into what your company’s values are. It makes sense. After all, it’s really your staff that is building your brand, right?
Evaluate who you are as a person. After all, as the founder, you will need to embody the values that your company adopts. It will be easier if your company’s values come from the values you already have as a person.
So what does it look like to have a brand with purpose? There are several examples.
Take a look at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Its purpose involves more than just making great burritos. Its Food With Integrity movement is about making sure that the food we consume is sourced in a more healthy way. Chipotle’s brand is committed to a purpose that transcends the profit motive.
Want another? How about Zappos?
Zappos’ brand is committed to happiness. Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh ruthlessly chases after ways to make his employees and customers happy. By focusing on creating a great experience for anyone who interacts with Zappos’ brand, he has created a brand purpose that differentiates his company from others.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the man himself, Neil Patel. When asked about the purpose of his brand, he simply said that he wants to “help as much as possible without charging tons of money.”
This is why Patel gives away so much of his knowledge and expertise for free. He’s known for creating genuinely helpful content that brings a distinct value to those who consume it. And much of this content doesn’t cost anything.
As a matter of fact, Patel’s ultimate objective is to be able to benefit non-profit organizations that are focused on changing the world for the better.
If you’re starting or running a business, you need to truly understand the important role that purpose plays in your branding efforts. A remarkable purpose that speaks to people is essential to the success of your marketing.
If you haven’t already, you should think about the purpose your brand is meant to serve. Think about why you started your company in the first place. What problem are you trying to solve? Why? Answering these questions will give you a good starting point in figuring your brand’s purpose.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Photo via Shutterstock
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Branding is one of the hardest parts in creating a business. More than deciding a logo, you have to decide on what your business will stand for.
Thanks for your comment Aira. Your brand’s purpose is more important than just the design of your logo. Your purpose is what makes your audience feel connected to you.
Thanks for this article with great examples. I can agree that brand’s purpose, goals whatever are very important to understand what place on the market you occupy. So every brand/ company should be able to define it.
Your’e right. Defining what space your brand occupies in the market is very important. It may not be easy to do but it’s something can’t be ignored. Your prospective customers need to know what your company is about beyond its products and services. Thanks for your comment!
Chipotle is a definite great example for excellent marketing. I’ve been to a couple of their restaurants in Ca, and Fl. I must say, their food is awful and overpriced, their restaurant design is awful, and they all seem to hire horrible employees. Yet for some reason people flock to them. It has to be the marketing
Thanks Jeff… Definitely a subject after my own heart. After spending many years helping companies build brands with little or no substance, purpose or ‘heart’, other than to increase their bottom line, I now see a great shift in people building businesses around purposes bigger than themselves. The challenge, as you say, is to define it and then deliver it! Great examples.
Interesting article, but is there objective evidence that this strategy works for small businesses or professional businesses? It would seem like consumers find a brand like Chipotle online because they are searching for “Chipotle” and not “Mexican food.” However, consumers looking for a doctor, dentist, or attorney, would likely find what they are looking for only after searching for a physical malady or legal problem.