Every brand needs a purpose. It’s that “why” that drives it forward and gives it a reason to exist. What keeps it going? Why should anyone be interested in what it’s doing? The answer is the purpose.
Your brand purpose gives your clients a compelling reason to take you up on your offers. It’s the desired result that they’re seeking — the solution to the problem they’re facing. It’s how you explain the value of what you do.
Your brand goals vs your clients’ goals and where purpose fits in
In business there can be a lot of goals floating around. You’ve got your business goals, which might be something like finding X number of new clients per month, earning a certain amount of revenue, or raising opt-in conversions by X%. You might then have specific brand goals to help you reach your business goals. Something like, growing brand awareness or improving brand equity. (Check out this post on how to align your business goals to brand strategies.)
Then, there are also the goals of your clients to consider. What is it your clients want to achieve by working with you? What are they setting out to gain?
It’s this goal — the goal of your clients — that’s tied to your brand purpose. This makes your purpose different to something like your brand goal or brand vision which are more internal, business-focused ideas. Your purpose (at least, by my definition) is all about what your business can do for your target market.
Making your client needs central to your brand purpose
A lot of businesses mistakenly believe their messaging should be all about them. What they should be doing is explaining why other people (their target market) should care about what they do. How it benefits them.
So, the first step to figuring out your purpose (a key part of your brand messaging) is to define your ideal client. You need to know who they are, what they’re struggling with, and, if they can find a solution, what their desired outcome looks like.
The thing they’re struggling with should, of course, be something you can help them with through the services you offer. But what you’ve really got to focus on is that desired outcome. What is it they want to achieve? What does a total win look like?
Helping your client get to that point is your brand purpose.
Defining your brand purpose in words
Okay, so let’s break it down. Here’s what you need to define.
- The problem — What is the problem your ideal client is struggling with?
- The goal — This is the ideal outcome they’re chasing.
- The need — In order to achieve their goal, what do they need? This is what you’re able to deliver via your services.
Once you can identify each of these three things, you’re in a great place to communicate your brand purpose. It basically goes something like this:
I/We help [ideal clients] who are struggling with/to [problem] to [need] so they can [goal].
You’ll get something like this: I help service-based entrepreneurs who are struggling to attract dream clients to create compelling branding so they can stand out and build demand for their business.
Another example: We help busy professionals who are struggling with exhaustion to optimise their nighttime habits and behaviours so they can improve their sleep quality and be better rested.
It’s not just about what you do
What you’ll notice is that your brand purpose doesn’t stop at meeting those immediate needs of your clients. Sure, what you offer and deliver are important parts of your business, but what makes your brand truly compelling is being able to communicate how your offer helps your clients achieve their goals. Understanding that will explain to them why they should invest in you. That’s what makes your business irreplaceable in their eyes.
A client who hires a business coach didn’t do so because she can’t wait to do some coaching sessions. No, she was thinking about how much she desires a stronger career direction and wanted help working out how to do that. The business coach she hires doesn’t hand her a career direction — that’s not the actual deliverable they can give her. They give her coaching sessions that provide her the guidance to figure out what she wants to do.
Your brand purpose is used to motivate your target audience and encourage them to take action. It communicates both your understanding of their pain points and how you can offer them a solution. This should be the basis of all your brand messaging and the way you express the value of your business.
Your brand purpose is a key foundational component of your wider brand strategy. For some guidance on defining your brand foundation, check out my Core Brand Pillars Workbook. Get it free here.
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