Consumer habits are changing and the shift toward online retail and eCommerce continues to gather pace. With consumers now having ever greater access to a wealth of products from sellers around the world, making your product or store stand out is key – and this is where branding comes in.
We recently wrote about beginning the process of branding your business, now we want to take a look in a little more detail at developing a brand purpose.
Branding isn’t just logos and visual brand identity however, brand purpose is also key. If the ethos of your business resonates with consumers, they’re far more likely to forge a personal connection with the brand and shop there. As consumer awareness of the potential social and environmental impacts of their consumption grows – having a clear set of values is increasingly important for businesses in all sectors, and ecommerce is no exception.
So, how to develop your brand ethos? In this article we’ll look at some of the key steps you need to take to define your business clearly in the minds of your target audience.
What benefits do developing a brand purpose have?
Developing a brand purpose gives you customer loyalty. Having one can help form an emotional relationship with the consumer which will make consumers more likely to stay with your business.
A strong brand purpose can also develop your business as it can create a buzz through word of mouth. A consumer could tell their friends of their positive experience with your brand, which could lead you towards a sale from the group of friends too.
How to choose a brand purpose?
To choose your brand purpose, a good place to start is to ask yourself what it was moved you to create your business in the first place. It’s easy to get absorbed by the day-to-day running of a business and perhaps lose focus on the passion that led you to begin building your business from nothing in the first place.
Going back to first principles is a good way of asking yourself what motivates your business and in what way it is your trying to leave the world a better place than you found it. You can then build a brand purpose around this, and ensure that your brand reflects the values that gave rise to it.
With this in mind you can then associate your business with the causes that it should be aligned with, which again will help create a natural connection with your target customers. For example, a vegan brand can communicate about the difficulty of finding vegan approved products, a subject that will no doubt chime with people who’ve found your vegan brand.
Communicating your brand purpose
When it comes to communicating brand purpose, creativity is key. Depending on your audience and message, a good mixture of on and offline communication is a good means of ensuring your purpose is communicated effectively.
Whether you opt to focus on online or offline, traditional or social media or a mixture of all, remaining consistent throughout will be central to defining a clear purpose for your brand. Ensuring consistency across all your channels, whether owned or earned, will mean that, whoever your message reaches, and however it reaches them, a clear and well defined message is getting through.
Survey data shows that consumers are increasingly interested in the social purpose of the brands they engage with, with young consumers especially concerned for social and environmental impacts. With Gen Z projected to become the biggest group of consumers in coming years.
Ensuring your brand has a strong purpose then isn’t just a good thing to do, it’s also good for business. Focusing on a purpose early in your business development, and ensuring it is communicated consistently and effectively can be a real differentiator.