Most marketers are now aware of the importance of a brand purpose — a clearly defined reason for your brand's existence that goes beyond profits and ROI, has a clear benefit to society, and—at least in theory— provides a framework for every strategic business decision. Being purposeful has enabled TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker, Patagonia, IKEA, and other leading brands to gain a market advantage — and tons of positive buzz — in a business environment defined by a collaboration of social media and social consciousness.
Consumers today are more informed, empowered, and engaged than ever thanks to new digital business models that have spun the customer-brand relationship on its head. Customers who purchase your brand’s products and services no longer sit back and allow television advertisements to influence their decisions. Instead, they are actively researching your company and choosing to connect with the brands they resonate with.
The overarching reason why brands such as Nike, Apple, and FedEx attained iconic status is that they intuitively understood how to differentiate their brand in a noisy, cluttered marketplace—they dared to be different.