Brand Purpose

I was reading a report on lifestyle segmentation and women when I came across a term that I really like: Brand Purpose. I know – if this is what you read for fun, what the heck does your work reading entail?  In any event, the term comes from the folks at Harbinger Communications and it’s so of their USP – Unique Selling Proposition. They define it thusly:

Brand purpose is the ownable, actionable impact the brand will make on the lives of the target consumers, rooted at the intersection of what the brand offers the world and the consumer’s deepest cares and desires.

There are a couple of things to consider here and I think it isn’t a bad exercise for anyone is business (and, therefore, anyone with a brand) to think about them.  First, what does your brand offer the world?  How is it different from anyone else doing what you do or offering the same type of product or service?  What problems are you solving for your customers?  I’m amazed when I speak to businesses about this how few of them have a very clear notion of the answer to those questions.

Second.  What do you know about your consumer?  You have rams of information at your fingertips about the “what” – what did they buy, what was the average sale, etc.  You might know their basic demography.  But what do you know about their motivations?  What primary research have you done?  What feedback do you get on a regular basis?  The world is no longer “we talk, you listen.”  Brands need to do way more listening than talking.

Finally, how can you “own” the answers to the above?  Can anyone else come in and take your place in the consumer’s mind?  Is your positioning and purpose actionable, or is it just a nice mission statement?  Are you adding genuine value to peoples’ lives or are you just making this month’s sales target?

Something to consider today!

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