Higher-Purpose Branding

IBM is an example of a company with integrity and authenticity, and as the best business leaders know, these are the two words that most draw any of us to a great brand. IBM’s mission is to show us how technology can improve the world.

British retailer Marks & Spencer promotes more than the goods it has for sale. It has a program called “shwopping” where for every item a customer buys, the customer is encouraged to take something from the closet to recycle. M&S partners with Oxfam in this endeavor.

Drug giant Merck will tell you it is “in the business of preserving and improving human life.” The money is where the mouth is when you see the work done to cure river blindness along the Amazon River, as well as work they did to help eliminate tuberculosis when it turned into an epidemic in Japan after World War II. These were not profitable ventures, but what do they tell you about Merck’s vision of social responsibility?

Compare these examples with one prominent marketing executive who said, “The sole purpose of marketing is to get more people to buy more of your product, more often, for more money.”

Of course companies have to make money. But executives who think the only thing that matters is how much cash is added to the bottom line forget that between making and selling a product, something rather important has to happen: the product has to make an appearance in your head.

What does your brand stand for? What higher purpose does it serve? Please share here or on Twitter and tag your tweet with #HowDoesItMakeYouFeel or simply, #HDIMYF.

Daryl’s new book, How Does It Make You Feel? Why Emotion Wins The Battle of Brands, is now available for purchase digitally on Amazon.com and print versions will be available December 2013. Follow HDIMYF updates on Twitter @BTCEO and @Brandtrust!

Want to better define what your brand stands for? Contact Brandtrust today.

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