Brand purpose: What is it and why does it matter?

9 December 2021 | 5 min read | News
Clearly Team

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Most of us are familiar with the idea of a company brand. Having a strong brand identity – with a colour theme, logo and website that stands out from competitors – enables you to attract new business, and creates a familiar, recognisable product or service interface for returning customers.

All of this is proven to benefit businesses financially. If you publicly trade on the stock exchange, intangible assets like your company brand can make a huge difference to your overall value.

Every organisation needs to make money to stay in business, and there are many options available within the within the sphere of PR and marketing to directly boost cashflow. However, to understand what brand purpose is, you’ll need to put return on investment aside for five minutes.

“You may have a strong reputation for doing good as a business, however brand purpose is not the same as Corporate Social

Brand purpose is best defined as the reason for your company to exist beyond making money. It’s not about your targets for growth and what you need to do to get there, it’s the core concept underpinning your product or service.

You may be trying to solve a problem or perhaps you’re just trying to do things differently. Identifying this will help you to realise your brand purpose. Why is this important to consider?

Brand purpose is key to your business because it has a huge influence on consumer perception. We already know that many purchasing decisions are affected by individual emotions, experiences, and perceptions – and today’s customers expect companies to know their audiences, to spend time engaging with them.

As Forbes contributor Jeff Fromm writes, ‘consumers are no longer investing their time, money and attention on brands that just sell quality products at fair prices’.

70 per cent of business leaders believe the pandemic will accelerate the move to a more purpose-led society. 92 per cent of 18-34 years old think this will be the case (Clearly).

With the pandemic still very much with us, are you a business which people can support, endorse, and align themselves with?

Research undertaken by Zeno Group, who spoke to 8,000 consumers across eight countries, suggests that buyers are four times more likely to purchase from values-driven companies. You may have a strong reputation for doing good as a business, however brand purpose is not the same as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

To clarify, brand purpose should be service, or product led. Elon Musk, the Chief Executive of Tesla, is a good example. In a recent interview, the famous inventor and entrepreneur said that ‘the acceleration of sustainable energy’ is the fundamental motivation behind the electric vehicles his company creates.

It’s not about donating money to a worthy cause or supporting your local community, although these things are important. True brand purpose is causally linked to the benefits your company, service or product brings.

“In today’s ultra competitive marketplace, there remains a belief among many businesses that being a ‘name’ or having great sales patter will suffice. True brand purpose is causally linked to the benefits your company, service or product brings.”

Author Simon Sinek writes that the best organisations, the ‘companies we love to do business with’ are those ‘that imagine a world that’s different than the one we’re in now and are using their company to advance that cause.’ Realising your brand purpose is more than a feel-good exercise. To get it right, you may need to make substantial changes to the way you operate.


The pandemic has prompted many business leaders to take a step back and really think about why their organisation does what it does. What is its purpose, what does it stand for and what – if anything – makes it stand apart from others in its space?

Figuring out the answers takes time, and the challenge then becomes one of how to effectively communicate them to your people, stakeholders, and target market.

If we can help you to do just that, feel free to contact Clearly’s Paul MacKenzie-Cummins directly at

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Why not download our whitepaper on the role of ‘brand purpose’ in the post-pandemic economy, based on the responses of over 500 CEOs and Managing Directors.

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