Purpose as your Differentiator

Brand Marketing, Brand Trust, Consumer Behavior

Purpose continues to be a differentiator and bottom-line driver

You want to resonate with your target consumer.  You want to build a connection that in turn will build loyalty with your brand.  That seems like a pretty big challenge these days in a world where a crisis of trust is rampant.


But there is hope.  There is a consistent increase in consumers’ willingness to purchase products with a social benefit or from companies that show a corporate social responsibility. Consumers expect companies to do more than simply make a profit. They expect them to make a difference.  So, armed with this knowledge, how can you do something that will resonate?

    What is your companies belief system and how can you make a difference that aligns with your belief system?  Once you’ve selected a cause, it’s time to get passionate, and not just from a dollars and cents perspective.  Get your employees on board, and get them passionate about the cause because that’s the only way to truly make sure everyone is on the same page telling the same story.
    Start by telling  a compelling story around the cause you are supporting. What was the reason you chose that cause?  What kind of difference did you hope to make? How has your corporate team become involved in the cause?  All of this will help draw the consumer into your storyline of corporate social responsibility.
    Show what you actually did to try and fix a problem or contribute to a solution. Again, outside of simply donating dollars, did you have your team go out and plant gardens in local communities or help distribute meals to those less fortunate?  Did your organization sponsor a program that sent underprivileged children to camp?
    Show your impact through authentic stories. While it is incredibly important to get your organization involved in a cause because you believe in it, there is no harm in telling the story of how your organization made a difference.
    Use social media to encourage participation from consumers.  There is no reason to be altruistic on your own. Get your community of social followers involved in spreading the word.  Everyone wants to feel like they are making a difference and if they can help by simply sharing your messaging, then you have truly found a way to connect with them.

Classic examples of brands with social impact are ones like TOMS or Warby Parker and Dawn.  They have each picked a focus, a cause, and they live by that.

At PTPA we have had many opportunities to give back to our community.  In fact, to date we have given out almost $1 Million in products to communities that we work in. But one opportunity that stood out was the ability to participate and spearhead an influencer program and  twitter party for the Always brand and their “Like a Girl” campaign. When we hosted the twitter party, the best part of it was how many moms and daughters shared their experiences about how they had been held back simply because they were girls. It was incredibly powerful to see all of their pictures and read their stories and it created a connection amongst all of the participants in this twitter party. The party ended up lasting 2 hours more than expected because of how the messaging resonated with the moms.  The ultimate goal was to show the world that girls won’t be held back, and the community of moms were there cheering that message on. That’s what you ultimately want. You want to be building a community with a shared message.

So what are your key takeaways?

  1. Pick a focus or cause that resonates with your organization.
  2. Leverage your team to tell the story of how you are having a positive impact on this cause.
  3. Ensure your customers know what you support because that’s how you will build a true connection.
  4. Do not stray from that overarching cause, stay focussed.
  5. Tell the story of the impact you have been able to make.