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Finding your North star – Why all brands need a purpose

Jacqui Wachtel

Strategic Marketer / Brand Strategist

7th January, 2020

4 min. read

With 2020 upon us, consumers have more purchase options and greater market insights than ever before. An increasingly conscious wave of consumers is looking for brands that offer ‘something bigger’ than the products or services they sell.

In fact, Forbes magazine reports that 75% of consumers worldwide expect brands to contribute to their wellbeing and overall quality of life. This is especially true for millennials – with 71% of this market favouring brands that drive social and environmental change.

Today, people want to know the brands they support embody a certain ethos, take a clear stance, and make a positive impact in the world. To achieve this, brands must identify their overarching purpose: A North star that differentiates the brand and continually guides it.

Why is brand purpose important?

Brand purpose is critical because it shows your customers something beyond products, services, marketing and advertising. Your brand purpose can unite, inspire and engage customers – and this transcends simply turning a profit.

A brand purpose sits above a company’s vision, mission and values. Where these statements are inwardly focused, a brand purpose faces outwards and helps people to understand how your brand serves their community and the world. The most exciting part of a brand purpose is that it invites customers to join this journey, and to stay invested beyond the point of sale.

At Pixel Palace, we’ve had the great pleasure of working with notable brands of purpose. For example, our friends Alanna and Jade at Femeconomy came up with the unique idea of creating an online directory that makes it easy to find and support brands that empower female leaders.

Their directory now lists over 700 brands which meet the Femeconomy criteria of having at least 30% of women on the Board of Directors, or are 50% female owned. In a society where women make 85% of household purchase decisions, Femeconomy’s brand purpose is potent and powerful.

How does brand purpose impact your team?

Brand purpose doesn’t just unite your customers – it can also inspire and align your team. When team members understand, are engaged and even become excited about your brand’s purpose, their work becomes more meaningful and rewarding.

Your team can then convey this sense of purpose in everything they do – whether that’s customer communications, marketing, advertising or design. A brand with clearly defined purpose will find this embodied by its team members, and intrinsically infused in their work.

At Pixel Palace, we are proud to be working with the incredible team from Bravery Box – which aims to support children and families impacted by cancer. Bravery Box was founded by mother-of-two, Tanya Allan, who watched her young daughter Lara go through cancer treatments.

Tanya recognised the need for an ongoing children’s toy drive to encourage kids in hospital undergoing cancer treatment. Since then, the Bravery Box has evolved into a fundraising for research into kids’ cancer. In collaboration with community and health professionals, the team from Bravery Box also facilitate programs that support the social and emotional health of children and families impacted by cancer.

The entire team from Bravery Box is motivated by one brand purpose – to beat kids’ cancer and to ultimately put themselves out of work! This heartfelt brand purpose is at the centre of everything that Bravery Box does; it unites their team, their donors, and the families they care for.

What happens next?

At Pixel Palace, we would encourage all the brands we work with to consider the following steps:

  1. Identify and articulate your North star: Your brand purpose.
  2. Engage customers and team members: Inspire others to believe in this brand purpose.
  3. Infuse brand purpose into every part of your business: Let your star shine through
    communications, marketing, advertising and every sales interaction.
  4. Build a community centred on your brand purpose: This might mean creating a Facebook group, social calendar or fundraising campaign that’s underpinned by your purpose.
  5. Evoke an emotion: Continually check-in with your brand purpose, and ensure that it aligns with how you make people feel. As consumer priorities continue to evolve, it’s critical that brands connect with their audiences on a deeper and more authentic level.

“We live in a world of constant flux. New trends are emerging. Populations are booming. Technology is advancing. Power is shifting. And marketers are being forced to evolve and adapt. While advertising will always be rooted in brand essence and strategy, businesses are increasingly being challenged to imbue greater purpose into their campaigns.”

– Forbes, 2018

Need help identifying or articulating your brand purpose?

Our team at Pixel Palace offers a comprehensive set of digital communication services. We will work closely with you to recognise your brand purpose and seamlessly convey to your customers. Chat with one of our passionate team members now!