Why being a brand with purpose must embrace delivering a great ‘everyday’ experience
Strong brands drive the bottom line
Strong brands not only provide functional excellence, but also create an emotional connection. This is underpinned by ‘Beyond the Brand’ a major research conducted with the Fortune Knowledge Group amongst senior business decision makers. For business customers, personal values (the human side) always outweighs business considerations (the rational side). It seems no matter how rational you imagine yourself to be, if you’re making a business decision, emotion remains in the driver’s seat.
Delivering ‘everyday’ value with a clear sense of purpose
More successful brands are finding this human relevance through establishing a higher purpose, beyond just a commercial ambition. As Simon Sinek famously said ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’. If you know your purpose as a brand you know why you exist, who you are and what you aspire to be.
In recent years, we’ve helped many clients shape and define their brand ‘North Star’ by clearly articulating their higher overarching purpose and brand strategy to then implement across their business, their people and their marketing activities.
So I was interested to read a recent article in the Market Leader that suggested Brand Purpose should be actionable and sharply focused around a social mission such as Dove ‘boosting self-esteem’ to help women realise their full potential.
This article also berated the plethora of brands whose purpose focused around making people’s lives better on a daily basis, questioning whether this is really a purpose. However irrespective of whether this is explicitly stated, I believe any higher purpose focus must permeate throughout a company which includes existing at an ‘everyday’ customer experience level. In fairness the article sought to highlight broad and bland statements such as Clorox: ‘We make everyday life better, every day’ (in itself a vague tautological statement).
DHL provides a better example, with a purpose focused around driving greater customer value through its core business: ‘Everyday we connect people, improving their lives’. They then seek to deliver on this through investing in technologies that drive workflow efficiencies and excellence in the customer experience.
Brand strategy must extend beyond the marketing department
Internal scrutiny is essential in this socially amplified age. People seek brands that are authentic. Brands who are honest and understanding. In other words, brands they can trust.
That's why we advocate that brand strategy be treated as a corporate resource in every way equal to Financial Management or IT Management. Thorough brand management means consistent, coherent, congruent behaviour everywhere and with all business stakeholder and employee contacts and where possible upstream and downstream management across the partner value chain. This means working out and then putting into practice behaviour patterns and actions that genuinely drive and underpin the claims a business makes by permeating the ‘say’ with the ‘do’.
Which loops back to my opening point that strong brands have the ability to drive the bottom line. To quote Gartner: ‘Customer experience is the last source of sustainable differentiation and the new competitive battle ground’.