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This Chapter:

Purpose

Purpose Title Card
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Purpose

By Mark Brinn
Uncover the essence of your brand's purpose, the guiding compass for your brand strategy, decisions, and actions. This chapter delves into the heart of purpose - the triad of mission, vision, and values. Discover how a well-crafted mission statement outlines your core objectives and reason for existence, while an inspiring vision can set a clear, long-term goal. Additionally, learn how your brand values echo your principles and ethics, and can forge a bond with like-minded customers. A meticulously defined purpose not only forms the foundation of your brand identity but also enhances customer connection.

Understanding Brand Purpose

Your brand’s purpose—it’s the heart and soul of your brand. It’s the reason your brand gets out of bed in the morning. It’s the why behind everything you do.

Nothing beats a hot cup of purpose in the morning.

So… what exactly is it? Brand purpose is the combination of your brand’s mission, vision, and values. These three elements together form a powerful trifecta that guides your brand’s strategic actions, shapes its trajectory, and binds all elements of your brand identity.

Mission

Your brand’s mission is the guiding light that directs all your brand’s actions. It’s the answer to the question, “Why do we exist?”

Your mission is the core purpose of your brand. It’s what you strive to achieve every day. It’s not about what you do—it’s about why you do it.

Vision

Your vision is your brand’s dream. It’s what you aspire to become. It’s the answer to the question, “Where do we want to go?”

Your vision is your brand’s future state. It’s an ambitious, inspiring snapshot of what you want to achieve in the long term.

Values

Your values are your brand’s principles. They’re the beliefs that guide your brand’s behavior. They’re the answer to the question, “How do we behave?”

Your values are the bedrock of your brand. They’re the non-negotiable principles that guide how you do business.

Put these together and you’ve found your purpose.

Defining Your Mission

A well-articulated mission statement serves as a roadmap for your brand. It guides your strategic decisions, ensuring that every step you take aligns with your brand’s core purpose. Whether you’re deciding on a new product line or planning a marketing campaign, your mission statement should be at the forefront of your decision-making process.

Here are a few tips to help you craft an effective vision statement:

  • Keep it simple: Your vision statement should be easy to understand. Avoid jargon and keep it straightforward.
  • Make it inspiring: Your vision should motivate your team and your customers. It should make them want to join you on your journey.
  • Ensure it’s achievable: While your vision should be ambitious, it also needs to be realistic. It should be something you can feasibly achieve with hard work and determination.
  • Align it with your values: Your vision should reflect the values of your brand. If you value sustainability, for example, your vision could be to become the most eco-friendly brand in your industry.

Questions to craft your Mission Statement:

  • What is the core purpose of our company? Why does it exist?
  • What problem are we solving for our customers or society at large?
  • How do we want to be perceived by our customers?
  • What is unique about our products, services, or approaches?
  • Who are our target customers or users?

Defining Your Vision

Vision statements are similar to mission statements in that they both describe what you do and who you are. The difference is that mission statements are in the present. They summarize your company’s purpose and primary focus. Vision statements describe who you want to be. They outline your organization’s future hopes.

Your vision statement is a key component to obtaining a unified brand identity. Your vision guides your strategic actions and shapes your brand’s trajectory. It’s the glue that binds all elements of your brand identity. From your logo to your slogan, every aspect of your brand should reflect your vision.

In the Unity chapter, we stress the importance of a cohesive brand. Your vision statement plays a crucial role in creating this unity. It ensures that all aspects of your brand are moving in the same direction, towards the same goal.

Questions to craft your Vision Statement:

  • Where do we see our company in the next 5 to 10 years?
  • How do we want to grow or evolve?
  • What impact do we want to have on our customers, industry, or community?
  • What kind of legacy do we want to leave?
  • How will we know when we’ve achieved our vision?

Defining Your Values

Brand values, simply put, are the core principles that guide your brand’s actions, decisions, and behaviors. They’re like the ethical compass that helps your brand navigate through the wild seas of the business world.

Imagine your brand as a person. Your brand values are the beliefs and principles that person holds dear. They’re what your brand stands up for, what it believes in, and what it won’t compromise on.

Why are Brand Values Important?

Values are the backbone of your brand’s identity. They’re not just fancy words to put on your website. They’re the guiding principles that shape your brand’s actions, decisions, and relationships.

Here’s why they matter:

  • They define your brand’s character: Values are like the personality traits of your brand. They give your brand a distinct character that sets it apart from the crowd.
  • They build a bond with your audience: People connect with brands that share their values. When your brand values align with your audience’s beliefs, it creates a powerful bond that goes beyond products and services.
  • They guide your strategic decisions: Values act as a litmus test for your strategic decisions. They help you evaluate whether a decision aligns with your brand’s principles and purpose.

Questions to Discover your Values:

  • What are the principles that guide our company’s actions and decisions?
  • What beliefs and behaviors do we want our employees to embody?
  • How do these values align with the expectations and needs of our customers?
  • What ethical standards do we uphold?
  • How do we express our values in our everyday business operations?

Remember, your brand values should be authentic and meaningful. They should reflect who you are as a brand and what you stand for.

Case Study: Patagonia’s Brand Purpose

Let’s take a look at a brand that’s really nailed this whole ‘purpose’ thing – Patagonia. This company has a mission that’s as clear as a mountain stream: ‘Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis’.

A Clear Mission

Just take a look at that mission statement. It’s not just a sentence, it’s a rallying cry. It’s a promise to their customers, and a commitment to the planet.

It’s the heart and soul of their brand. They literally paint it on the sides of their buildings!

Living the Values

And they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Patagonia is committed to using sustainable materials and production processes. They’re not just making clothes, they’re making a difference.

  • They use recycled materials in their products.
  • They donate a portion of their profits to environmental causes.
  • They’re transparent about their supply chain.

Guiding the Business Strategy

This strong sense of purpose doesn’t just make them look good, it guides their entire business strategy. Every decision they make, from what materials to use to where to open their stores, is informed by their mission.

Utilizing photography from their actual manufacturing plants in their ads – no stock photos here!

So, what can we learn from Patagonia?

  • Your mission should be clear and compelling.
  • Your actions should align with your values.
  • Your purpose should guide your business strategy.

Take these lessons to heart, and you’ll be well on your way to defining your brand’s purpose. Take a page from Patagonia’s book – think about what your brand stands for, and how you can make a positive impact.

Creating a line based on scraps from their manufacturing plants – these types of innovative ideas can only come out of good and honest communication with all parties involved.

Conclusion

In this chapter, we’ve dived deep into the heart of your brand – its purpose. We’ve explored its mission, vision, and values, the core elements that give your brand its unique identity.

These elements steer your brand’s strategic actions. They define what your brand stands for, its reason for being, and its ultimate goals. They’re the glue that binds all aspects of your brand identity, from its name and logo to its color and style.

As we close the chapter on brand purpose, we’re ready to step into the next chapter of our branding journey – identifying your audience.

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