The Rise of Purpose-driven Brands

In 2013 Kristen Bell, the actress who plays Elsa in Frozen, co-founded a company called This Bar Saves Lives. This company focuses on selling snack bars, and every time you purchase a bar, they feed a child in need. This serves as the perfect example of a purpose-driven brand. Through their initiative to offer food to those in need, the brand has been able to connect with its consumer base on a deeper level.

Purpose-driven brands are those that have an authentic and clear purpose to create a positive impact in the world, these brands are important because they offer help or opportunities to people who would have otherwise not gotten it. While some of these brands offer help in the form of donations, some offer opportunities to the less fortunate or people living with disabilities by offering them employment. A great example of this is a Kenyan brand called Nashipai, a company that makes luxury leather products, where most of its employees are deaf women.

Purpose-driven brands are important not only because they empower people through their services and their products, but also because they make the consumer’s option to align with them mean something. That is, if the brand’s values, opinions, and interests align with those of the consumer, then indirectly the consumer will feel like they were part of the change.

Fashioning a brand’s purpose, mission and values is like giving it a soul, which enables you to deeply connect with your consumer base, hence they choose you over your competition leading to brand loyalty. A compelling and clear purpose may also motivate employees and help attract talent who share the same values and are passionate about creating an impact. Purpose-driven brands also have long-term sustainability goals because they aim to create value beyond profits.

Aside from the benefits of being a purpose-driven brand, there are a lot of challenges and criticisms that come with it. The first one is ensuring that the brand’s actions and practices are authentic and in sync with its purpose and values, to avoid being accused of insincerity which may damage the brand’s reputation. These brands may also struggle with balancing profitability and purpose. This may cause some strain on some of the partners or shareholders who may want to focus more on financial gains as opposed to the social impact. Brands could also suffer from consumer skepticism and ‘cause fatigue’ from the number of brands that are promoting social and environmental causes.

Becoming a purpose-driven brand first involves reflecting on your passions and values to identify what you truly care about. Next, set realistic and clear goals that align with your purpose and work towards achieving them. It is also very crucial that you surround yourself with like-minded individuals or partners as you embark on this journey. Always be mindful of your decisions to ensure they line up with your purpose and values. Lastly, take into consideration that being purpose-driven is a continuous process that will involve a lot of growth and self-discovery, meaning you will need to be patient and kind to yourself along the way.

Businesses that are looking to succeed in this new landscape need to prioritize social impact and strive to demonstrate transparency and authenticity. Building trust and effective communication of the social impact initiatives are important for the brand to succeed. Purpose–driven brands can impact the world positively by prioritizing social impact and consumer values. Purpose-driven brands can not only drive business success but also create a lasting positive impact in the world.

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