‘People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.’
~ Simon Sinek
With the proliferation of all things digital, consumers have much more choice when it comes to engaging with a plethora of brands, products, and services that have been made available to them. Now more than ever, you have access to a multitude of brands that for the most part, provide you with very similar offerings to that of their competitors. This, however, can be problematic especially for smaller brands trying to find their place in an increasingly saturated marketplace. So how can you set your brand apart in order to not only create market value for yourself but also provide value for your customers? The answer lies in having a purpose and setting intentions for that purpose to be fulfilled. It’s not the products and services offered by a brand that a consumer is going to connect to, it’s the idea justifying that brand’s entire existence.
If you’re struggling to set intentions and find your brand’s cause, take a look at these companies who are going against the tide and differentiating themselves with purpose over product.
It’s no secret that the beauty industry preys on women’s’ insecurities with the vast amount of products and services that have been marketed towards ‘enhancing’ their quality of life. This creates a perpetual cycle that reinforces the idea that a woman’s appearance is in constant need of improvement which doesn’t help especially as they navigate the inevitable process of ageing. Luckily not all brands are out to exploit our vanity-based anxieties for the sake of a good prophet. For a number of years now, Dove have still only sold soap but by doing so, they’ve also worked hard to change the negative narratives surrounding women’s bodies and the perceptions of them that exist in today’s society. With the Dove Self-Esteem Project and the Dove ‘No Digital Distortion’ Mark this brand is dispelling the idea of ‘perfect’ within the beauty realm communicating that ‘beauty should only ever be a source of confidence, not anxiety.’ This is Dove’s purpose.
What started off as a bottle of water for helping alleviate a worldwide water crisis has now evolved into a large-scale social enterprise combating global poverty. Thankyou now consists of a variety personal and baby care products however still while maintaining a strong focus on ‘having sustainable impact on poverty-affected communities.’ Partnering with organisations like Unicef, Oxfam and World Vision the Thankyou Group has not only been able to empower nearly a million people worldwide but have also been successful in donating over $6.2 million to help fund various initiatives to provide proper sanitation and access to clean water as well as supporting child and maternal health in third world countries. Sitting alongside many other brands on supermarket shelves, Thankyou have been able to stand out with the purpose of eradicating poverty with the belief ‘that every person has equal value and the right to a life free from poverty.’
TOM organics is a brand that is not only providing women with sanitary products, it’s also a brand that is built upon ethical and social responsibility with a threefold approach communicating its purpose. With a focus on the environment, health & wellbeing and giving consumers the opportunity to make conscious choices, TOM Organics aims to offer products that not only align with women’s needs but also their wants regarding what they choose to put into their bodies and how this impacts the world around them. With projects that revolve around saving resources and providing perinatal support to new mothers, TOM Organics are going above and beyond just providing a better product for their audience. It is their intention that ‘women should never have to compromise their wellbeing or the health of the planet with the products they buy.’
A successful brand or business is so much more than just the products and services it offers to its customers. Anyone can do that and lots of people and companies already are. Not enough brands however are focusing on the ‘why’ that drives their business and instead remain fixated on the ‘what’. Consumers need to be able to believe in something bigger than themselves and the brands that they are buying from. By leading the way with purpose, a brand will not only have a more authentic foundation on which to market its products and services, it will also be much more likely to inspire its audience to stand by them as they navigate their brand’s journey moving forward into the future.