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Build a Sustainable Brand with Purpose-Driven Marketing

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on April 18, 2019 at 1:48 PM

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Purpose – what is it? If you’re thinking “the name of Justin Bieber’s fourth album”... that would be correct, but this word carries more weight than his millions of fans.

In the 14th annual Global Consumer Pulse Research, titled ‘From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand,’ Accenture Strategy defines purpose in the following way:

“pur·pose /ˈ pərpəs / Noun: The reason why something exists. For companies, it is the foundation of every experience. It is the underlying essence that makes a brand relevant and necessary.”

In an increasingly competitive landscape, purpose-driven marketing is about more than building your brand or boosting your revenue. It’s about building a better world, long-term, alongside the people who share your brand’s passion to drive positive change and make a real impact.

To build a sustainable brand, equipped with valuable brand advocates and stakeholders, make an effort to strengthen it by delivering something beyond price and quality.

[Research] From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand

Spoiler alert: Purpose and value go hand in hand. The closer your company’s purpose aligns to its actual beliefs, the more effective (and rewarding) your purpose-driven marketing and brand building efforts will be. Don’t believe us?

Consider the recent we mentioned from Accenture Strategy, who surveyed nearly 30,000 end-consumers in 35 countries to gain an understanding of current global customers’ preferences beliefs, and behaviors, yielding the following results:

63% are buying goods and services from companies that reflect their personal values and beliefs

62% of customers want companies to take a stand on issues they’re passionate about, like sustainability, transparency or fair employment practices

62% say their purchasing decisions are influenced by a company’s ethical values and authenticity

74% crave transparency into how companies source their products, ensure safe working conditions and their stance on important issues

66% of consumers think transparency is one of a brand’s most attractive qualities

66% believe their actions can influence a company’s stance on issues of public concern

47% have stopped doing business with a company as a result of its actions

But that’s not all take a look at the data below on how consumers weigh brand options:

Accenture Strategy PurposeDriven Marketing Research

[Source: Accenture Strategy]

As you can see, not only should you have a clear handle on what your company’s purpose is, but there should be evidence that your brand (actually) takes action to stand for what it believes in. Realize that if you don’t know what your brand’s purpose is, your consumers don’t, either.

Considering that many modern-day consumers want to make a real and meaningful difference with their dollar, why not tune into that and involve your customers or members in the opportunity to do so? Collaborating around a shared purpose will help humanize your brand and drive mutual value.

If your consumers don’t know what your brand cares about, most will take their business to a brand who aligns with the personal impact they’re trying to make with their purchasing power.

So once you define your brand’s purpose, be sure to communicate it clearly to consumers in a way that resonates emotionally and empowers them to get involved. 

Read: Does Your Community Throw Love at the World? (Time to Start)

Use Behavior Data to Drive Connection & Promote Value

If you want to deepen your customer relationships, you need to connect with consumers on an emotional level that shapes their perception of your brand in a positive way. I’m not talking about faking it –  I’m talking about really figuring out what matters to them and how your brand can tap into that to collaborate toward a mutual purpose or goal that drives value. Enter: data.

Consumers don’t buy inauthenticity, so don’t waste your time trying to pull the wool over their eyes. They’ll call you on it.

Behavior data is the puzzle piece that will inform your decisions about what actually matters to your consumers, which will drive your strategy in terms of how you engage those people and collaborate with them to build a sustainable brand that means something to both of you.

Listening to your customers and collecting data and feedback can also help you deliver the personalized experience that makes your members feel seen, heard, valued, and appreciated.

Read: How to Use Online Activity Data to Know If a Customer Might Leave You (Without Hearing It From Them)

Read: 3 Lessons from a Unicorn [How to Harness Customer Feedback to Drive Brand Growth & Success]

Put Your Brand Purpose Into Action with Engagement Tools

Engagement tools like online community and marketing automation can help you expand on these efforts by using that data to connect your customers with each other and your brand. You can collaborate around the purpose your brand has solidified and use those tools to improve the customer experience and drive deeper, more sustainable connections. How, you ask?

Read the following resources to educate yourself on engagement tools that drive brand growth and help facilitate sustainable connections that lead to improved member or customer success:

The moral of the story here is: define your brand’s purpose - figure out what it is you’re doing that is meaningful, and understand that if you’re not doing it together with your audience, you’re going to lose business. Point-blank.

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Topics: Engagement, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Marketing Automation, Online Community

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