Customers want more from their brands. It’s not about cost as it is about value. They want to see you’re your company as part of the bigger picture. They want to know that their purchase means something. That’s where purpose-driven marketing comes in. Forward-thinking companies position their products based on the shared interests and common goals of their buyers. It forms the basis of their purpose, approach, and delivery. It shapes their identity. Customers engage with the brand and its values as much as they connect with the product.
My introduction to purpose-driven marketing happened at the grocery store. As a kid, I always wanted my mom to buy Newman’s Own pasta sauces and salad dressings for two reasons. Firstly, because it was the brand created by one of my favourite actors, Paul Newman. Secondly, I had read that all the profits from his product line went to support various educational and charitable organizations. That made me feel even better about wanting to buy it. But instead, I got stuck with Ragu and Hidden Valley. Not quite the same customer experience.
There are countless examples of other companies that have a clearly defined vision of what their brand stands for. They foster their brand by creating meaningful content in their marketing and advertising campaigns that keep customers aware of new products and initiatives. Most importantly, they are transparent in the way they connect with their audience. In simple terms, they practice what they preach.
Wearing your heart on your sleeve
One company that does an excellent job of purpose-driven marketing is Patagonia. After first establishing a climbing gear outfit, company founder Yvon Chouinard began to focus on apparel for outdoor enthusiasts like himself. In the 80s, Patagonia began using recycled materials in their clothing, paving the way for the company to use 100% organic cotton in its products by 1996. The company also began donating a portion of its sales to grassroots environmental organizations. It wasn’t long before they created a loyal following.
Patagonia successfully created a brand that transcends clothing for outdoor enthusiasts. They are valued by customers not only for their ethically-made products, but also for their commitment to the environment. According to a recent Forbes article, customers are willing to pay more for these kinds of eco-friendly products. Patagonia built a loyal customer base because their buyers believe they’re contributing to a greater cause that aligns with their own beliefs. Patagonia’s website and marketing materials reflect this lifestyle brand as one that is harmonious with nature. By buying their clothing, you feel like you’re making a difference.
Purpose-driven marketing strives to find a mutual cause between the brand and its customers. Consumers feel loyal to the brand because they feel aligned with what it stands for. To foster that audience, companies need to educate their customers on how they’re trying to make the world a better place. Companies need to create meaningful content to keep customers engaged. Once you create a synergy between your brand and its purpose, you can then achieve a more authentic connection with your audience.