A brand relies on others to exist because it is others who define the brand.
Because of that, a brand must signal a guarantee of trustworthy behaviour to be successful.
Trustworthy behaviour is rooted in a brands’ purpose.
To be trustworthy doesn’t mean a brand must always look or act the same. It means what a brand does or says should consistently align with its purpose.
A brands’ purpose acts as a guiding light, pointing it in the right direction.
It’s this direction that enables a brand to look different, change products, say different things or shift strategy and remain recognizable to customers. It’s recognizable because the purpose remains unchanged.
Purpose connects customers to a brand and vice versa. When a brands’ purpose aligns with customer needs, customers will flock to it because they’ve found something that authentically aligns with their identity. They like it because they’re like it.
However, customers will only connect with that purpose if it’s authentic.
A brand whose purpose is to make shareholders money gives customers little to identify with. To be authentic, brands must be open, transparent, fair, and put the customer first.
Apple didn’t become a 2 trillion dollar company by making electronics for its shareholders, it became that company by giving its customers the power of creative exploration and self-expression.
When a brands’ purpose is to empower its customers, its customers empower the brand.