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In: Branding, Business, Purpose

Incredibly, global spending on responsible consumption products is $400bn and growing. We also know that the 1.8bn millennials across the world want a very different relationship with businesses and brands – one that is aligned to what matters most to them and more meaningful.

Did you know that over a 12 year period that brands which were recognised for a purpose rather than just for profit grew 200% faster.

Global brands like Unilever are also demonstrating this with statistics showing that brands within their portfolio taking action for people and the planet grew 69% faster than those which were not aligned in this way.

It seems obvious but the case has never been stronger that by doing well for others you do well for yourself as a business or individual.

An Award-Winning Agency, part of Defy’s own purpose is to do good whilst doing great things. With this in mind we are Wales’ premier climate positive agency, investing in tree planting and carbon offset since we formed back in 2020. To date we have planted over 1,500 trees and offset over 54 tonnes of CO2 (as at May ’22) and we are still going.  Check out our latest here.

1. Framing The Fundamentals

In our post-pandemic world there is much talk about how purpose, in particular amongst the younger generation, has become far more of a priority. On top of this it’s been commonly discussed how brands who fail to communicate or even develop purpose that aligns with their values will ultimately be rejected.

2. Brand Tapestry And Touch Points

Ultimately, we can think about brand purpose as being part of a tapestry of experiences, beliefs, impressions and associations which give your brand advantage in response to a need or an occasion – your brand purpose needs to be in tune with these two motivators of choice.

There Are Two Processes At Play Within The Decision Making Process

1. Fast & Intuitive and 2. Slow & Considered – which can de-rail or confirm No.1). If your brand purpose is not relevant to the motivators of choice it is unlikely to affect a choice in your favour.

Sustainable growth can be achieved by ensuring competitive advantage in developing your brand purpose effectively – to convey how meaningful, different and pertinent your brand is to people.

Four Principles To Drive Your Brand Forward

Impact vs Intent

If you want your brand to savour faster growth and higher value then you need to make sure that you are recognised for the efforts that you engage in. To better the lives of people rather than simply the pursuit of profit. 

Your brand purpose positively affects the recognition of its efforts and you can achieve this in four ways:–

1. Core

If you ensure that your purpose is right for your category and your brand, it can become a seamless layer of the positive and motivating associations that make up a brand’s mental imprint. Consider the difference between a personal care brand taking on the confines of female beauty, and a beverage brand attempting to tackle racial tensions. The alignment between your brand, and possibly even your category, to your choice of purpose can make or break it.

2. Meaningful

It is essential that your brand conveys a sense of purposeful identity, those brands that are differentiated through being more meaningful sell more, they are of higher value and essentially they can charge more.

Therefore so it’s crucial that your brand purpose helps support that and we can help you identify and shape and craft this purpose into the fabric of your brand.

Identifying ways for your brand to be able to have impact in a world where there is a huge divergence between what could be and what is. Finding a way to both have impact and make the lives of people better, easily, with your offering should be shaped to align it with and reinforce the very fabric of your brand’s DNA.

3. Engaging Employees

Business performance can be enhanced successful if your employees are the first ones to become engaged with your purpose. The Purpose 2020 study demonstrated this with 80% of what were termed ‘over-performing businesses’ saying that “Everything we do is linked to a clear Brand Purpose”, this is in contrast with under-performing businesses where the score was only 32%. 

Successful change management that is centric to your organisation is imperative for this engagement with employees to succeed; not just through them getting it and embracing it in the short-term, but through engendering this ethos and passion through their everyday work. 

The impact can be extraordinary when done right, for example with NatWest, the ambition around their their purpose is to ‘champion potential, helping people, families and businesses to thrive’. Highly emotive and with plenty of feel good factors around the central theme this filters through the complete network of employees down to customers through their commercial initiatives. 

The tangible results have included successfully deploying £1bn in debt funding to support female entrepreneurs, helping almost 3,000,000 people improve their financial stability and over 600,000 people to save.

4. Delivery Across The Brand Journey

Your carefully crafted purpose should be delivered consistently across every touchpoint along the brand journey, in a relevant and engaging way. 

Apple mission statement is “ to bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services. ” Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, stated this as the company’s mission statement and included it in the 2018 annual report. Through their mission statement, Apple highlights that it exists to offer its clients the best service that it can. The statement also describes how the company intends to achieve this.

  1. Apple have brought this to life right through from their stores and digital eco-systems to their and business leadership. They design products to be user-friendly, enhanced security features improve the user experience and develop trust.
  2. They seek to improve the lives of other people user-friendly and simplified technology. Consistently improving their products and designs to meet customers changing needs show that the company regards the products as more than simply a tool of entertainment. The products are such that they are coveted by existing and prospective customers.
  3. Rather, they empower the user and goes some way to show the strong presence of Apple’s products as integral to the working environment. Further to this they focus on delivering a product that strives to deliver quality products to leverage a competitive edge in the market.
  4. The famous Apple keynote events:
    The historic keynotes by Steve Jobs are legendary. Memorably was the 2007 event when the iPhone was introduced. Steve Jobs has created a unique brand touchpoint, whilst other tech companies go to trade fairs. Apple attracts people. Years later the Apple keynote is an impressive brand touchpoint and calendar date with enormous global and media attention accompanying it.
  5. A significant and frontline touch point for Apple is its employees. They have only one goal at heart: to make customers happy. To that end, Apple’s training programme includes intensive in-store and support training – APPLE: Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, End.

Adopting such a kind of clear coherence and consistency means your purpose will concentrate your brand’s meaningful difference, not risk diluting it.

Your brand’s purpose should be the obvious choice for your brand, given what it does, who it is and what’s happening in the world right now. In this way, you’re adding complementary layers to the mental imprint of your brand and, in turn, making it more meaningful, different, and salient when it counts.

The very impact that your brand is trying to make and its success  leads back to the synergy between the brand and purpose.

If this purpose is not aligned to the brand and fails to speak to tension or real need it will go unnoticed or possibly attract ridicule. A lose-lose scenario for all concerned.

Littered with potential pitfalls, layered and potentially complex, this is a course that at first glance that can sound like simple common sense.


In conclusion, building a brand with impact and purpose is not easy, but it is essential for businesses that want to succeed in the long term. By aligning your brand with a clear purpose, you can create a more meaningful and differentiated offering that will resonate with consumers. Additionally, by engaging your employees and delivering your purpose consistently across all touchpoints, you can build a strong and loyal brand community.

Here are some key takeaways from the blog post:

  • Brands that are recognised for a purpose rather than just for profit grow 200% faster.
  • Brands that take action for people and the planet grow 69% faster than those which are not aligned in this way.
  • By doing well for others, you do well for yourself as a business or individual.
  • A strong brand purpose can help you attract and retain customers, employees, and investors.
  • A clear and consistent brand purpose can help you differentiate your brand from the competition.
  • A brand with impact and purpose can make a positive difference in the world.

If you are a business owner or marketer, I encourage you to consider how you can build a brand with impact and purpose. It is a worthwhile investment that will pay dividends in the long run and we would love to discuss how we at Defy can help you.

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