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How Purpose Can Evolve Your Brand

Posted on Categories Branding, Organizational Change/Alignment, PurposeTags

As the outward-facing aspect of your business, your brand must make clear what your organization cares about and reflect what it stands for.

In order to infuse these intentions into your brand, start your brand evolution project by uncovering and solidifying your purpose. With this simple and powerful statement, you can join the past and the future of your company, appeal to the minds and hearts of stakeholders, align communications and experiences, and ground creative efforts to come.

Join the past and the future

Evolving a brand can be a touchy endeavor for those who have worked for an organization for a significant period of time. They have likely grown accustomed to the brand, and have attached feelings of nostalgia to it. It can be difficult and frightening for these folks to let go of the past in order to move into the future. They rightfully don’t want to lose the equity the brand has developed over the years and perhaps fear what will happen if the brand evolution is a flop.

Your purpose statement describes the best of what your organization is and always will be. It gets to the core of why the organization exists, which justifies why it is around today, and also why it was founded. With this foundation, you can base branding efforts on the eternal truth of the organization. This bridges the gap between now and then, and preserves what is held most dear by those who have championed the business for years. As a result, you can create a brand that gains mass internal appeal and galvanizes support from across teams who continue to be brand champions.

Appeal to minds and hearts

Brands are usually created to appeal to the logical brain. When crafted in this way, the brand is often trite or uninteresting, following some prescribed industry-standard or formulas for how to position the organization. Too many brands focus on describing their value through what they do or can offer, which is often similar to what competitors are doing in the same space.

When you turn to purpose in your branding process, you can prove your worth through why you exist. You can focus on impact and show others what you want to be possible in their lives. That connects to people’s hearts; and they feel excited and inspired by what you want to accomplish in the world. With a statement that defines who you are, what you stand for, and the impact you seek to make, you can create stories and experiences that appeal not just to logic, but also to emotion. Your brand, then, fully engages, activates and coalesces your stakeholders.

Align communications and experiences

Many brands’ stories and experiences feel unaligned. Stakeholders may hear one thing about a company, but when they interact with a representative, they have a mismatched experience. Because brands are shaped by both stories and experiences, it’s essential to line them up to create consistent brand touchpoints for all stakeholders. 

Purpose is the anchor point for creating this consistency. In all of your efforts, you can tie back to your purpose, and ensure everything you do and say makes that purpose real in the world. It’s also essential to include values and behaviors in your Foundational Statements that guide the organization. These set explicit standards for showing up and behaving at work every day. When you set these expectations, and people meet them, you continually prove that your people walk the talk. This makes what you say credible to others, and proves that you mean what you say. The result is stakeholders who have deeper levels of trust with, and respect for, your organization. 

Ground creativity

It’s possible for brands to feel ungrounded or random. Individuals and teams can start to use the brand in their own ways, and take it on tangents away from the original intentions. Leaders, too, take liberties and expand the brand story from their own whims and ideas. Often, though, these jettisons aren’t grounded in any sort of shared reality; and create questions of, “Now, why did they do that?” This ends up with a disjointed set of designed materials, experiences, and stories that all somehow are supposed to describe the same company.

If you continually turn to your purpose, and ensure anyone who is telling your story or creating your experiences does the same, your brand efforts will make sense, even if done in organic ways. Subjectivity is mostly taken out of the branding process with purpose in hand. You can go back to it, time and again, and ask if what you’re creating is aligned there first. Does the idea make your purpose real in the world? If so, then you’ve got an idea that has legs. If not, it’s back to the drawing board. This leads to impactful and connected branding solutions that tell your entire story every time and keeps your brand from going in a million different directions.

When you use your purpose to craft your brand, it becomes a reflection of your business’s strategy as a whole and a living testament to the purpose you espouse. The stories you tell and the experiences you create will not just be differentiated and interesting, but will also serve a higher calling. This makes everything in the brand magnetic and motivating, and will certainly support you in setting your business apart, drawing in the right stakeholders and, ultimately, leaving a lasting legacy.

Featured Resource:

Learn the eight critical mindshifts that ignite purpose-led organizations in our latest e-book: Mindshifts on the Path to Purpose

Mindshifts on the Path to Purpose Book cover

Avatar photoSavage Brands believes in unleashing the good inherent within all organizations. Business results are driven by connecting with people at the belief level. That’s why we align everything a company says and does with its Purpose through a proven process that links strategy and execution with “why.” We solve the challenges corporate America faces by building tribal loyalty from the inside out, focusing on people first to deliver authentic brand experiences. Savage builds purposeful brands, communications, leaders and cultures.