FEATURE7 October 2022

Fit for purpose: Brand purpose and research

x Sponsored content on Research Live and in Impact magazine is editorially independent.
Find out more about advertising and sponsorship.

Cost of Living Features Impact Innovations Trends Youth

A company’s brand purpose has to be more than a mere marketing tagline if it’s to be an effective driver of growth. In fact, it should ideally be the kind of strategy that empowers an organisation to hold itself accountable with transparency and rigour, as Rob Gray discovers.

sculpture of colourful shapes on a concrete brick base

At the most basic level, brand purpose is easy to define. It’s a reason for a brand to exist aside from making money. For instance, NatWest championing potential by helping people, families and businesses to thrive; or Google’s mission to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

While that’s pleasingly straightforward, the problem with brand purpose is that, once you get beyond a simple definition, it’s an area bedevilled by vagueness. Often, it’s poorly communicated, whether internally to employees or externally to customers and other stakeholders. Its impact on the business can also be far from clear, either because no serious attempt has been made to measure it, or because the steps taken have proved to be unilluminating.

That’s a great shame given that brand purpose can give businesses a real commercial advantage – assuming it truly is a sustained commitment that relates to, and sits well with, a core product or service, rather than a bolted-on construct ...