On PURPOSE. Brands redefining progress from the inside out.

A lot of what branding is today is creating the right idea of the brand in the minds of employees, just as much as in the minds of consumers. While it is true that this is not a new revelation, the idea that an employee is your biggest advocate is now more pressing than ever. As a business owner and leader, it’s my job to define the future for my brand - to focus on what can change and what needs to stay the same.

In 2019 Beaumont People funded Australia’s first research study into what defines ‘Meaningful Work’ for Australians. Survey respondents were asked ‘What is the most important contributor to meaningful work?’, the top 3 responses were:

1. Leadership
2. Culture
3. Purpose

98% of respondents agreed that having meaningful work was important and 71% believed that meaningful work is more important today than it was 5 years ago.

Having a purpose that lives beyond a page on a slide deck can help you maintain relevance and be a beacon that guides and steers your ship. Not only does this inspire greatness from your people, it helps you attract new talent and customers who are like minded.

In my experience in consumer branding across a broad range of industries, I see that fear can prevent brands from actioning change. It can be a delicate tango, if you don’t change you can die a slow irrelevant death (I see this happen often) if you change too much you can also become obsolete because what has made you distinctive is no longer recognizable to your audience. The truth is, change is a certainty. Positive change is the outcome of deliberate choices - both strategic planning and good intentions in a melting pot that drive actions.

Being a social-purpose-led business should influence big picture decision making and play an active role in your business. Some examples of how your purpose can influence your profile from the inside out are:

  • brand positioning - the unique place you own in the market can align to you social-purpose
  • visual identity - you can choose to update your brand system to better reflect your purpose
  • events and celebrations - how you choose to celebrate your projects and people, and with whom
  • partnerships and sponsorships - linking who you endorse, support and do business with should reflect your purpose also
  • media and communications - how you tell your story and what you choose to prioritise across different touchpoints

There are an ever increasing array of brands who are contributing to doing better through a purpose-led business model, here are a few great brands that are leading the way in balancing head and heart enterprises in 2022:

①  Toms -  We're in business to improve lives.
②  Allbirds - building a community dedicated to combating climate change
③  Collective Closets - Committed to changing the way people purchase fashion, helping our customers build conscious, timeless wardrobes.
④  Patagonia - for the love of our home planet
⑤  Unilever - make sustainable living commonplace.
⑥  Atlassian - helping unleash the potential of every team.
⑦  How we roll - reducing single use plastic and household waste
⑧  Lego - Supporting a more creative and resilient society
⑨  Paypal - Democratising financial services
⑩  Etsy -  Keeping human connection at the heart of commerce.

The social season is dying down in Australia with Autumn settling in, now is the time to buckle down and rethink why your brand exists, what are you advocating for and why that matters to your people, customers and community.

Written by Amber Bonney
Founder and Head of Strategy @ The Edison Agency

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