Purpose-Driven Brands: Why Should B2B Brands Explore Having a Purpose?
Harvard Business Review defines purpose as:
“An aspirational reason for being which inspires and provides a call to action for an organization and its partners and stakeholders and provides benefit to local and global society.”
At C.E.K. & Partners, an Atlanta-based branding, strategic communications and market research firm, we know brands with a powerful purpose connect with people’s hearts. And while building a purpose-driven brand might seem simple, it requires integrating a shared larger purpose into the way your company does business. It isn’t just about brands communicating their purpose, but rather living their purpose as reflected by their values and actions.
Why should B2B brands consider finding their purpose?
B2B brands often might think that marketing and messaging don’t help the bottom line of the company quite as well as the sales team’s efforts. However, this is not true! Uncovering your brand's purpose can be very valuable since far too often there's a myth that B2B transactions are made based on sales and statistics.
Behind every purchasing decision are people. Traditional views that feature large buyers as being impartial actors are increasingly being challenged. Professionals have values, and they don’t leave them at the door when they enter the workplace!
Ready to infuse brand purpose into your B2B marketing?
3 reasons why your brand might benefit from having a clear purpose and well defined purpose statement
1 | Customers make decisions based on their values.
There’s a growing belief that companies should make a difference. In fact, 88% of people want brands to make a positive difference to the world.  And, 71 % of B2B buyers who see personal value reflected in a product will purchase that product. 
It is not purely the specifications of your product that your sales executives will be leveraging, but the purpose that your brand is able to convey. Doing so will ensure you make a strong appeal and more meaningful connection to your customers and a likelihood these are increasingly millennials.
2 | Stronger employee engagement.
Millennials make up the next generation of B2B buyers. According to a Google study, nearly half of B2B purchasers are millennials.  What does this mean?
Well, today people are looking for more than a good deal or for employees – they want more than just a paycheck. The findings from this study state, “millennials in the marketplace also require the clear sense of mission, vision and bigger-picture values that align with their own, and that is summed up in that one often misunderstood word: purpose.” Studies have found that the majority of employees who work for purpose-driven who say they work for purpose-driven companies report being engaged compared to a minority at companies without a purpose.
3 | Companies perform better.
Both B2B and B2C Brands can boost their revenue by finding purpose. In Jim Collins’ Book, Built to Last, the clear take away is that “visionary companies — those guided by a purpose beyond making money — returned six times more to shareholders than explicitly profit-driven rivals.” Are you ready to embark on finding your brand's purpose yet?
“Visionary companies — those guided by a purpose
beyond making money — returned six times more to shareholders
than explicitly profit-driven rivals.”
Leading global brands Interface and Philips – both weave a strong sense of purpose into their brands. A brand purpose that appeals to employees and customers alike.
Interface: Environmentally responsible driven purpose
Interface, revolutionary in the flooring industry, has a passion for caring for the environment through increasing awareness of climate change. Their initiative, Climate Take Back TM, looks to restore the planet’s health by “running our business in a way that creates a climate fit for life—and we call on others to do the same.”
Philips: Innovations that matter and improve lives
Another great example of a brand purpose is from the customer-oriented consumer electronics company Philips, which focuses on innovations that matter and improve lives. They have repositioned the brand with the launch of ‘innovation and you’ – defined as “a simple message that encapsulates our philosophy of developing products that improve people’s lives.”
How can your B2B brand move towards finding the right purpose?
Brands express their purpose by making strong and meaningful emotional connections directly with people. As an Atlanta-based branding firm we helps brands articulate their purpose in a meaningful way.
Our services help with purpose statement
development and positioning.
Here are some pointers on what you need to know and what you should ask yourself as you identify and develop your purpose:
Know your customers' passions.
This means not just understanding their needs with regards to product, but also what outcomes they desire from a transaction with you and the businesses that they work with.
Ask: What are your customers' values and what are they passionate about? This will help you narrow in on your brand's purpose.
Understand how your competitors are making a difference
It’s always important to understand your competitors’ activities. This holds true with understanding competitor’s purpose. Do they have a purpose?
Ask: What are your competitors’ purposes? What business activities are competitors engaging in that bolsters their sense of purpose?
Identify and articulate your company’s values.
Figuring out and formalizing your company’s values will be a tremendous step towards finding your company’s purpose. Explore your employees’ thoughts on the company’s values and how that aligns with their own values.
Ask: What are your company's brand values and do they align with your brand purpose and employees?
Ensure purpose aligns with your operations.
Purpose isn’t just a statement or a vision. It must be embraced across all disciplines and activities, whether it’s marketing or manufacturing. Finding and addressing institutional processes not aligned with company values is just as important as establishing a clear purpose.
Ask: Are there operations or practices that aren’t aligned with your company’s purpose? If so, is your brand's purpose still own-able and defendable or do those operations need to change?
Articulate a simple, compelling and clear brand purpose or purpose statement.
Your purpose statement must be one people can rally behind. If your employees and your customers don’t understand your brand purpose, don’t find it compelling or find it counters their values – you stand to lose more than you could gain by articulating that brand purpose to begin with.
Ask: Will your brand purpose help your company stand out from competitors and ignite the passion of employees, customers and other stakeholders?
We challenge you to ask -- how could finding or uncovering your brand's purpose elevate your brand and improve business growth?
Need help articulating your purpose or
positioning your brand, we're here to help.
Contact us now!
About C.E.K. & Partners We're an Atlanta-based branding and strategic communications firm. We're woman-owned and trusted by Fortune 500 companies, innovators, category disruptors, start-ups and nonprofits to articulate their purpose and brand stories.
We conduct market research studies, articulate B2B brands purpose, establish thought leadership and handle content marketing for payment, fintech and financial services and technology companies, along with those companies that already have a defined purpose.
We help position brands and help them put in place the strategies and tools to grow through building awareness and driving demand.