How Can Brands Resonate With Consumers in the Era of Purpose?

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All brands seek to resonate with their customers. And to that effect, many brands have sought to embrace brand purpose as one of the main tenets of their brand strategy. Brand purpose is when brands associate themselves with wider causes and missions beyond simply providing solutions and services to its customers.

And with 80% of consumers saying they want to buy a product from a purpose-driven company, who can blame marketing managers and CMOs from insisting on a focus on purpose? The problem is that research also shows that people wouldn’t be too broken up about it if 77% of brands disappeared overnight and that 58% of brand content was meaningless.

The issue arises in the form in which the brand seeks to build purpose. Brands must be careful to not set too lofty expectations among their consumers, or try to save the world. That is, a shoe company must not try to solve world hunger, but instead make sure that the less fortunate have appropriate footwear. 

Brand purpose, and by extension brand resonance, must be rooted in the problems the brand is trying to solve, rather than the most feel-good story. Only then will brands be able to achieve more lasting resonance, and only then will consumers take them at their word that they are trying to make a difference.