The power of purpose

If you’ve ever taken part in a rebranding project, chances are you’ve come across the values, vision and mission stage.

While this sometimes feels like a game of ‘buzzword bingo’, it’s an important step in finding your brand’s purpose – the statement or belief that underpins all elements of PR, marketing and advertising.

In fact, it underpins each and every touchpoint.

Getting that purpose right from the outset can make all the difference.

Purpose in practice

As someone who grew up in the heady days of MSN Messenger, TikTok (rather worryingly) is presently my most used app. And the most downloaded app in the world in 2020, and its still topping the charts this year.

Like any social media channel, there’s a lot of crap – not just the gunk cleaned out by thepoolguy – but there are also some gems.

One of those is Tim Hayden, the founder of watch brand Hagley West.

He’s transparently set out to grow a global watch brand, documenting the whole process on his account, underpinned by the purpose of ‘Love Your Journey’.

And he must be doing something right as 540,000+ people are following him. Not the brand – which has just 5,000+ followers – but Tim himself.

Living his purpose with even more gusto, Tim ran a live TikTok stream earlier this year where he promised that for any purchases made within it, he would personally deliver each and every watch.

He sold 67.

When he turned up on the doorsteps of those customers, who’ve bought into the man as much as his brand, many actually gave him gifts in return.

How often does that happen?

And in something of a proof of concept, I actually bought one of these watches after believing the story, believing the man behind it, and being convinced by the actual quality of the product.

Sadly, I did so before his live stream!

Doing it your way

Having the confidence in who you are as a brand is equally important as the confidence in what you do.

By understanding what makes your audience stay connected to you, you can build your presence and credibility to become the very best option available.

An option that stands for something that directly resonates with that audience.

“Make your customers feel that they are important, put them in the spotlight. It’s not your company you have to take care of, it’s your customers.” – Dan Priestley, Oversubscribed

That customer-focus, while obvious, is frequently overlooked.

Brands get worked up focussing on ‘valued added’ and ‘product benefits’, without considering – what does our target customer actually want? How we going to do ‘it’ differently to the rest? And, critically, why are doing it?

Whatever your niche, your target customers don’t just have to need something, they have to want it to. That’s what drives them to purchase.

Like Tim and Hagley West, not only do his customers want a watch that’s affordable and high quality, but they’re prepared to buy one (two or three in many cases) because of the man himself.

They believe in his purpose, and therefore the Hagley West’s, to hit that all-important checkout button.

Its underestimated value

Recent research revealed consumers are four times more likely to purchase from brands which align with their own beliefs or values, be they societal, cultural or environmental.

This cements the need to implement business changes that will not only attract the very best talent (who value your business beyond the offered salary and incentives), but also secure customer loyalty.

These are not meant to be ticked boxes that appear to show your commitment to sustainability, diversity or any other issue. They are the core values and beliefs that sit at the centre of the business, and directly steer your goals and objectives.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, as long as it’s genuine and you can justify it when questioned or challenged.

If it feels right to comment on an issue, then do so.

But connecting your brand to something that really matters to a large group, as a marketing ploy, will create a level of transparency that can inevitably cause you more harm than good.

Your purpose is yours to control

Defining your purpose in the first place – then implementing across all comms – will serve you far better in the long-term.

From a PR and comms point of view, it’s about consistently bringing your values into your everyday messaging as much as possible.

But it’s not about telling people what you’re aiming to do, or what you stand for, as much as it is about showing this in action.

It will set you apart from your competitors.

It will challenge uneducated or ill-informed opinions.

It will make a difference.

It will make us care.

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Dad, digital marketeer at Tank PR, Derby County fan, film buff, book worm and husband. In that order, but don't tell the wife.