Is purpose the new brand currency?
It’s no secret that creating a connection with customers can enhance the B2B buying experience; ultimately leading to engaged buyers and increased sales for your business. The right consumer insights can set apart a marketing campaign and raise the bar. Now, brands are going even further to win us over, by weaving these insights into their daily operations and overall purpose.
The quest to become authentic
Take B2B company 3M, for example. It is has worked hard to push sustainability to the top of its agenda and continues to improve on best practice every day throughout its operations. The company has set a clear goal: improve every life. To meet their ambitious targets, they committed to address global challenges and create balance in the environment.
They communicate this purpose at every touchpoint they have with customers: all their new products come with a Sustainability Value Commitment that demonstrates how they drive impact for the greater good; while they have won numerous awards including the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® award for 10 years running.
They’re not just talking the talk either: according to its sustainability report, 3M’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and water use as a percentage of net sales have all declined significantly in the last 15 years. By delivering on their values, 3M’s brand purpose is allowing it to become a collaborative partner in sustainability: indeed, the FutureBrand Index, the global brand perception study, showed that in 2019, admiration for the company is significantly up.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? By being forward-thinking and addressing the issues that your target audience cares most deeply about, you are establishing your brand as a ‘partner’ – trustworthy and value-driven – rather than a faceless corporation. Plus, evidence shows that this is becoming increasingly expected by consumers. 57% of young people believe that brands should use their advertising to raise awareness of social or ethical issues, and this is the demographic that is starting to come to the fore in the B2B world.
Despite all the challenges that brands face nowadays, authenticity is possible – and establishing a coherent, meaningful brand purpose can be transformational for your business. By determining what your audience cares about, and then acting on it in a significant way, you will have a much deeper connection with your buyers. After all, as Simon Sinek said: ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’
Discover tips for boosting your brand’s authenticity and learn more about the importance of purpose in our brand-new guide, available now for download on The Knowledge.