Today, branding is that place on the other side of the rainbow. Anyone who nails their branding is expected to come back with a big ole’ pot of gold. That’s why companies are scrambling to grasp the full extent of this whopping concept.
Most people think of it as logos and mission statements, but THAT’S the prologue.
Can you name any company’s vision or mission statement off the top of your head?
Kudos to you if you can, because you are a unicorn.
The truth is… nobody cares about the company values…or the mission statement…or even that witty tagline. They’re useless, pleasant words and images by themselves.
Audiences care about whatever is happening in their lives.
Dan Wieden, the genius responsible for Nike’s ‘ Just Do It’ tagline said,
“People Do Not Buy Goods and Services. They Buy Relations, Stories, and Magic.” -Dan Wieden
Mr. Wieden was right. No matter how you spin it, assets are about making money -not about your audience.
And let’s be honest, your tertiary logo’s tertiary holiday typography
…Yeah, that does nothing for your customer, but you know what does?
Your Brand’s Purpose.
Why You Do What You Do
Let’s pretend that you and Mark Zuckerberg are besties. One night, you’re drinking some expensive barrel-aged whiskey, and you ask,
‘Hey, Mark Zuckerberg -What was the impetus behind creating The Facebook in the first place?’
What do you think that answer would be.
…the honest, behind closed doors answer?
What if you asked him in front of the press?
The most compelling reason we do anything as humans is…
For better or worse, polite society dictates that material motivation, self-satisfaction, and monetary gain are unacceptable motives for business.
Insert Brand Purpose
Money may be the unspoken elephant in the room, but there’s never a single reason we do anything. If you had a pros and cons list with only one thing checked off in the Pros area, I’m assuming it wouldn’t be the thing you dedicated your working life to.
Officially, your Brand Purpose is the most elementary piece of your branding. It’s the base.
Think of it like a complex and multifaceted equation.
To get the answer you must first know A, B, and C.
Belief (Your Why)
The ‘A’ in the equation stands for Belief. And it’s your official ‘Why.’
At the core of every company is a belief, conviction, or opinion that prompted you to begin down this path in the first place. “The function of business is to fulfill a need, solve a problem, or soothe the constant chaos that is life.”
Do You Remember Jimmy Chebat and ZIZO from Episode 5?
ZIZO is literally changing the way the world works. Their ‘Why’ isn’t rocket science. It’s a simple, relatable truth that the whole world is coming to terms with this year.
Raise your hand if you can disagree with that statement.
When a belief is so fervent it propels someone to start a company, you can bet that it’s going to resonate with others as well. Passion is contagious. If you don’t have it – how can you expect someone else to be?
I think of ‘Belief’ as a cause or the deeper good that you serve. And we all know that people love a good cause, right?
This is the part people care about!
NAILING this one requires you to tune-out the noise.
Forget what you think your audience wants to hear or anyone for that matter. Ask yourself, Why?
Are you necessary?
Should people care?
Will they care?
Be sure to check out the show notes over at byobrandpodcast.com/brand-purpose if you need a visual reference. So…
Truth (Your What)
The B in the equation stands for your Truth.
If beliefs are the meaningful problem which spurred you to start a company, Truths are your reaction to that belief.
They’re your approach to solving the issue, creating the kind of world you want to live in. Your truth says quite a bit about the kind of company you are. It :
Differentiates You Among Competitors
Attests Your Values
Shows What You Stand For & How You’re Relevant
Consider the belief you wrote down a moment ago. WHAT meaningful thing(s) does your company do in reaction to your belief?
Scratch some time into your calendar to sit down with your thoughts and write them out. This is an excerpt from ZIZO’s
Keep in mind, this is just the tip of the iceberg of ZIZO’s capabilities – BUUUTTT, it’s lengthy. Nobody is going to recall a paragraph from their first interaction with you.
Therefore, step two is to extract the essence. What’s the key take away that your audience needs to regurgitate to their pals? If someone asked them, ‘Hey! What do they do?’ What would they need to say to :
a) identifies what you do that nobody else does
b) aligns with your belief
c) does it in a line
For example, ZIZO’s believes that >>>
The Way The World Works Is No Longer Working
They affirm that belief with their truth
Behavior (Your How)
The C in the equation stands for your Behavior.
Our businesses exhibit a number of behaviors – all relevant and necessary to building a purpose-driven Brand. However, we’re not talking about purpose-driven brands.
This is about extracting and expressing your Brand’s purpose. And THAT behavior is a direct response to your belief. Ask Yourself
You actively tackling the problem?
Are you being the change you want to see in the world?
Do You Want The World To View You?
This is what we came up with for ZIZO,
Bonus : these exercises double beautifully as secondary messaging.
Once you’ve jotted your thoughts on a paper – condense to a single resonate line. ZIZO’s is >>>
Straightforward, precise, memorable, and everything it needs to be.
Behavior is how we actively engage our belief. How are you engaging yours?
Now, that we’ve done the heart work, delving into your organization’s soul, we can see what’s really inside. Your Brand’s Purpose exists at the intersection of Belief + Truth + Behavior.
Somewhere inside of this Brand Purpose exercise is a home-run, and the viral ignition button. It articulates :
All that you do
Everything you stand for
…What you actually sell – rather than what you think you sell.
All That And MUCH MORE – and it does it in a single word.
You DO NOT Sell A product.
You Do Not Sell A Service.
If you want to be a brand. And you’re here – so for the sake of my rant – YOU Do! You, my fellow badass, sell an idea.
Think About It Guys!
What Does Nike Sell?
What Does Google Sell?
What do you REALLY Sell?
Don’t just ‘MEH’ away this Brand Purpose Stuff. Digest it – and then take a look at the results. I’m willing to bet that if you put some UMPH into it, a single word will probably be staring up at you from your page.
It doesn’t always though.
If yours doesn’t leap off of the page it doesn’t mean that you made a wrong turn. Sometimes, it’s more complex.
In that case, the answer is there, hiding in plain sight. Read between the lines of the Belief, Truth, and Behavior.
What single motivation and commonality links the four realms?
Find that and you find the piece that will light the world on fire for your company in the same way you are.
There’s no business too modest or too well-established for Brand Purpose work. We all want to Make Our Mark On The World, expanding our reach, and ultimately make more money.
Brand Purpose is more potent than social media, guys! If the branding is muddled, injecting a couple of Ben Frank’s worth of ads on social won’t materialize anything other than a handful of Page Likes and maybe a website click or two.
HOWEVER, When every marketing expression, email, and communication is concise, constricted to the single message that sums up all that you do – the message that instantly relates to your people
You’re on to something magical.
If this article speaks to you the way it speaks to me and you want to build the kind of brand that Blows all others out of the water,
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No matter where you are in your branding journey, I hope you’re fearless in your pursuit to bring your own brand to the world’s stage.
You’re never alone -but if you’re feeling like you could use a hand.. Or this case… verbal motivation,
REACH OUT, send all questions on branding – freelancing – and entrepreneurship to email@example.com
For an on-air answer from yours truly.
This early in the game, you can expect a quick reply… you know.. Unless mercury retrograde short circuits life.
TELL 'EM ALL