February 12, 2021

Branding for A Purpose Driven Business

The Super Bowl is hot on my mind because we all watched just a few days ago, and for those of you that are like me, I got up during the game and was glued to my TV during the commercials.

But here’s the thing. Most of us don’t have $5.5 million to shell out for an ad, right? We have to be a bit scrappier, a bit smarter in how we handle our branding. 

Here’s some recommendations that I have for you: 

The first is just to think about what the one great equalizer that we all have, that we all can do, which is  branding and paying attention to our brands. Particularly if you are a business that is focused on a mission or doing good in the world, you want to let people know about that by incorporating it into your overall brand and really focusing on that brand.

For those of you who think branding is not strategic, that it’s more of a fluffy part of advertising. 

Branding is important to you for five reasons:  

1.You can command a higher price. 

How many of us have ever spent a little bit more for something because it was a brand that we like, we identify with, or that we trust? 

2. You will ward off competitive threats. 

And today, with a digital and global marketplace, you have competitors coming at you from all over the world. Warding off those competitive threats is extremely important.

3. Helps you set the stage for a positive internal culture. 

Your people need to understand what it is that you stand for, and they need to be singing off of the same song sheet or since we all watched the Super Bowl, let’s think about it as a football team. If the players on the field didn’t understand the playbook, they wouldn’t be able to work together. Well, your brand and your brand strategy become your playbook as a small and a purpose-driven business.

4. Helps you with recruiting.  

I hear more and more people today really talking about the importance of recruiting the right types of employees and filling their open positions with people who are a good fit for their culture and brand. 

5. So that people do understand your purpose. 

If you are the kind of business that really is  out there to do good in the world, to do something different, to make a difference, you need to incorporate that into your brand messaging. Otherwise, it will be like a billboard in the dark. You will be doing it, but nobody will see it. So, one of my favorite authors on marketing is Simon Sinek. And Simon Sinek really talks about the fact that people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. And your brand messaging is going to inspire people to understand that. 

If you have not been paying attention to your brand and you want to incorporate some of your important purpose-driven messaging or graphics into your brand, plus you really want to get those five advantages that I just spoke about, here are a couple of quick things you can do, and anybody can do these things.

1. Get crystal clear on your purpose. 

Take some time with the smartest, most visionary people in your business, to really define that purpose. Define it as succinctly as possible, but make sure that it meets a few key standards. It needs to, first of all, be true, always true. It needs to, second of all, be relevant. Make sure that whatever your purpose is and your key messages are, that your target audience will really appreciate them. And then the third thing is, it needs to be competitively unique. Another one of my favorite authors, Sally Hogshead, who comes from the advertising business, talks often about how it’s more important to be different than better. You really want consumers to understand your purpose and how you are different.

2. Make sure then, that you’re assessing all of your brand elements. 

Sometimes when we think about branding, we just go straight to that logo, but the logo is just one thing. Your branding includes your name, it includes your logo, it includes the graphics that you put around your logo in your marketing. It also, though, includes your messaging. It includes your customer experiences. It’s very involved in your employee onboarding, training and culture.

Think about all of those different elements and how you can attach them to your brand. For example, at the pinnacle of your brand is your name. It’s very difficult to change a name, and you have to be very serious about it. I changed the name of KidGlov at one time. And so I speak from experience. At the time, it was the most important thing that we could do. And for some businesses, it is. For some, it isn’t. But if you’re not going to change your name, then you need to look at the other elements. You need to look at the logo. And if you’re not going to change your name or logo, then you’ve got to think about your tagline, elevator statement, the graphics that go around it.

3. Get disciplined. 

Get disciplined about how you use your brand because consistency translates to your target audience as quality. You never want to tell people that you provide quality. You just want them to feel if that’s one of your brand pinnacles. Put together a brand standards guide that includes your graphics and your messaging, and be tirelessly consistent when you use it. A lot of us in marketing like to say, by the time you are sick of it, by the time you are sick of it, that is just when your target audience has started to catch on. So be consistent.

Want more information? Visit our purpose-driven business hub to find a variety of case studies, helpful blog posts and Agency for Change podcast episodes featuring other purpose-driven business leaders. KidGlov is a boutique, full-service, advertising, branding and content marketing agency and certified B Corp, with offices in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, specializing in nonprofit marketinghealthcare marketingfinancial services marketingsocial impact marketing, and purpose-driven businesses.