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The Importance of Brand Purpose: How Your Brand Is the Key to Connecting with People

Do you know what your brand purpose is?

Kyle Johnston
Kyle Johnston
Jun 01, 2023
The Importance of Brand Purpose

Do you know what your brand purpose is? If your first response is “making money,” that’s a typical business goal that starts and ends at profits and sales, but it’s not why your brand exists.

Your brand purpose is the aspect of your brand that drives emotional connections between you and your audience. It’s the problem you exist to solve or the way you improve your customers’ lives.

Once you have a brand purpose, that purpose guides your brand in the future and continually builds connections that drive loyalty. Every aspect of your brand stems from this concept, from your brand assets to your brand identity to your messaging to your company culture.

What Is Brand Purpose?

Brand purpose is your reason for being in business and the values your brand stands for aside from your goals and objectives. It may reflect the lives and experiences of your founders, your perception of the gap in the market you seek to fill, or your drive for disruption in the market sector.

Your brand purpose may be ethical, moral, or political, offering a unique choice for consumers who want to make a buying decision that supports a certain way of life. That purpose then guides the rest of your brand, including your vision, mission, and values.

For example, you may have a brand purpose to make zero-carbon transportation a reality. Your vision is your long-term goal to make affordable, safe electric vehicles that are widely available. Your mission will be to strive for lower costs and higher quality in the manufacturing process, based on values like teamwork, trust, accountability, and focus.

What Does Brand Purpose Mean to Customers?

All of us have a list of needs that motivate us. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there are five categories that dictate behavior: physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.

The last one – self-actualization, is the need to be everything that you could be, which is your “purpose” in life. As consumers, this is revealed in seeking relationships with brand that align with beliefs and values.

In life, we often choose relationships with others who share our values or ideals. When a brand has a distinctly “human” personality and a set of beliefs and values, it becomes similar to a relationship with a friend, partner, or employer.

Brands used to have all the power in the relationship. They dictated the way the relationship will go and the consumer either chose to take it or leave it. If there weren’t other viable options, consumers had to just agree.

With the rise of social media and the increased market competition, consumers now have an opportunity to share opinions and drive change. If enough consumers share an opinion about a brand’s business practices, the brand may not have a choice but to take their opinion into consideration.

How Brand Purpose Builds Customer Connection

Consumers interact more with brands than ever before, thanks to social media and the internet. They can share opinions vocally through social comments, reviews on Google, messages, or their own posts, often leading brands to shift their practices to address the complaints of their customer base.

Brands can’t just do whatever they want anymore. Consumers have the strength in numbers and a voice in how business is done, and this presents an opportunity for brands to consider what their customers want and how to address their needs.

This shift was the start of purpose-driven brands, but the paradigm shift came from the Ted Talk from Simon Sinek in 2009. Titled “Start with Why,” the talk focused on business and the idea of brand purpose.

“Start with Why” is still one of the most prolific Ted Talks in history and inspired a book of the same name, which holds a special place in the best books about branding.

The core of the talk is the “why” in branding and the reasons that some brands inspire loyalty while others fail. Sinek often uses Apple because, as he says, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

So, that’s your brand purpose. Why do you do what you do?

Sinek’s Golden Circle is a model for how you can determine your purpose. All brands know what they do, in the literal sense of products or services. Some organizations know how they offer those products or services and what sets them apart from their competitors.

Sinek’s Golden Circle is a model for how you can determine your purpose. All brands know what they do, in the literal sense of products or services. Some organizations know how they offer those products or services and what sets them apart from their competitors.

How to Determine Your Brand Purpose

Not sure what your brand purpose is? Consider these questions:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • What do you have to offer that’s unique in the market?
  • What do you want your business to be known for?
  • What change are you trying to inspire with your business?
  • What problems are you trying to solve?
  • What are you trying to change in your industry?
  • What changes are your customers asking for?
  • Why does your brand exist, aside from bringing in profits?

The Brand Purpose Statement

Answering these questions should give you a rough idea of your brand’s purpose and what you want to accomplish with your business. Now, it needs to be condensed into a clear, concise statement.

Do you notice any themes or patterns in your answers to the questions? If so, put them in a concise sentence:

Our purpose is to [contribution] so that [impact]

It may take some time to figure out how to define your brand purpose, but this is all part of the brainstorming process to find something truly unique. It may be longer or shorter, but it should always have your contribution to the world and the impact you hope to achieve.

Let’s look at some stellar brand purpose statements.

Examples of Brand Purpose Statements

Here are some examples of exceptional brand purpose statements:


Disney’s brand purpose is simple – to create happiness for others.

In 1960, Van Arsdale France founded the “University of Disneyland” to create a training program for the people who would bring the dream of Disneyland to life. That brand purpose guided everything, and as France said, “look, you may park cars, clean up the place, sweep the place, work graveyard, and everything else, but whatever you do is contributing to creating happiness for others.”

The rest of it is clear. Disney’s purpose of creating happiness stands out in everything from the signature brand typography to the merchandise to the consistent experiences people have in its parks all over the world.


Patagonia is one of the best examples of a purpose-driven brand. As an environmentally conscious brand, Patagonia kept upping the ante of brand activism.

The purpose evolved along with that, going from “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” to a clearer, more concise purpose:

“Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.”

This calls back to the history of the brand itself. The founder set out to do business differently and explore wild places, which led to him using his business to protect those wild places for himself, his customers, and future generations. Now, everyone is hired based on that mission statement.

Brandini Toffee

Brandini Toffee has a storied history, local roots, and a commitment to quality that’s unmatched by competitors, which is reflected in the brand purpose “to inspire delight with every bite.”

The expanded purpose is:

“Sweetness can come in many different forms – but we’re most passionate about our own tried-and-true recipe. We are dedicated to sticking with what we know works. That’s why everything we deliver is based on our original family recipe, perfected and molded into gifts and treats that will brighten anyone’s day.”

All of the brand messaging and visual elements reflect this distinctive purpose.

American Career College

American Career College has a succinct brand purpose statement: “We’re here to change the definition of a life-changing education.”

The college offers education for people looking to get out into the job market faster. Everything is based on real-world knowledge and skills so that students can jump right into a successful career.


PetIQ has a simple but meaningful purpose that grew from a desire to disrupt the industry. Its purpose is “to help all pet parents provide necessary care that enhances the lives of their pets.”

The brand lives up to this purpose by educating the audience on preventative veterinary care and providing convenient access to affordable veterinary services, as well as health and wellness products to keep pets happy and healthy.

Find Your Brand Purpose

Coming up with a brand strategy often involves a lot of different ideas, but brand purpose should always be the first step. Once you have a brand purpose, it will inform the rest of your sustainable, impactful brand strategy that drives connection with customers, unites your company and employees, and inspires loyalty among your audiences. 

Kyle Johnston


Kyle Johnston

Kyle Johnston is a Founding Partner and President of award winning brand, content creation & brand strategy consulting firm, Gigasavvy. After spending the last 20+ years in Southern California, Kyle recently moved his family to Boise, ID where he continues to lead the agency through their next phase of growth. 


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