The word ‘purpose’ has emerged as a strong success mantra in the B2B marketing industry in the current evolving market scenario. But do brands really need it?
It seems that every brand manager and marketing director worth their salt is eagerly embracing higher goals, demonstrating the noble impact their business will have on the world. The debate is now about whether the brands truly need to have a purpose beyond solving customer requirements?
Brand purpose encompasses all the reasons that drive marketing strategies beyond making money. This altruistic notion would have felt very out of place a few decades ago when businesses unashamedly existed to generate as much money as possible for their stakeholders. Today, the tide of public opinion has shifted completely, and not all businesses are seen as good purpose-driven ones.
With heightened awareness about the environmental cost of consumption and other economic disparities globally, the idea of making a profit at any cost is intolerable. Journalists and social media platforms routinely draw negative attention towards firms who fail to uphold the highest moral and ethical standards. The result is that multiple firms in the public eye are now being judged on their overall impact globally, not simply on their capacity to generate profit.
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Marketers are also now placing greater emphasis on communicating the broader benefits brought in by the brands to society. Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and statements of brand purpose – drive the complete brand image across industries. Still, the biggest question to be addressed is how to identify what the brand purpose should be, and how it could be linked to the marketing strategy.
Brands trying to distract attention by overlaying weak CSR initiatives are being called out for “fake purpose” by customers and competitors. To avoid this pitfall, marketers are focusing on re-examining the benefits their services and products bring to the world. The purpose should be focused, strategized, and well-thought.
For all of the excitement about brand purpose today, the brutal truth is that value for money, product quality, and brand trust will always take priority in a buyer’s mind. But, never the less in the current situation, all of these need to be strongly backed up by a strong and compelling “brand purpose.”
Sustaining and winning back buyer trust remains the primary reason why every B2B firms need to embrace a relevant brand purpose. Without it, sales opportunities and leads can easily slip through the fingers.
When smart organizations embrace brand purpose intelligently, prospects and customers begin to comprehend why and how a company exists for more than mere profit. Brand purpose can become a powerful unifying force, bringing together customers, employees, and partners around one relevant cause. It can also become a source of much-needed emotional and social relevance for B2B brands, communicating societal benefits to carry more meaning than product functionality.
Creating a well-defined brand purpose and developing smart programs around it will enable organizations to carry out crucial tasks for B2B brand marketers with enhanced impact.