Brand purpose positioning: what it is and why you need it

1 minute read

Mindful business practices are the future of successful brands, but conveying your commitment takes skill if it’s going to be accepted as authentic. Here are the key points to consider.

Considering today’s social, environmental and economic climate, consumers expect brands to positively impact the world in which they’re trading, rather than ‘profiting from creating problems for others’. So naturally, conveying the positive work that your business does will be high on your marketing agenda.

Consider the evidence

  • 76% of consumers say they will stop buying from companies that treat the environment, employees, or the community in which they operate poorly.
  • 88% of consumers are reportedly more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues.
  • 21% of global consumers reported that they would actively choose brands only once they’d made their sustainability credentials clear in their packaging and marketing materials.
  • 66% are willing to pay more for sustainable products. And that number increases to 73% for millennials.

It’s therefore clear that by purpose positioning your brand as sustainable and inclusive, you’ll not only be more ethically sound as a business, but it’s likely you’ll also increase your customer base and revenue.

How’s it done?

It’s all about making ethical practices, workplace representation and economic responsibility a key part of your brand identity.

Purpose positioning and ESG go hand in hand; taking the environmental, economic and social concerns that you’ve already embedded into your business operations, and using them to influence your ‘sustainability branding’. This will drive your purpose positioning.

Identify your ideal customer

Considering that 62% of consumers expect companies to take a stand on issues they are passionate about, it’s likely that your ideal customers will be interested in your businesses’ green practices as well as diversity and inclusion.

If you can be a business that acknowledges social, economic and environmental issues and better yet, takes positive steps towards mitigating them, your ideal customer will appreciate your efforts.

Consider how competitors see your brand

Do you make it a priority to be known for being passionate about ESG? If you make green practices, workplace representation and economic responsibility a big part of your brand identity, then consumers and stakeholders will associate your product and/or services with sustainability.

Better yet, your competitors will see your purpose position and, even if they neglect to acknowledge the importance of ESG themselves, they’ll certainly see how much consumers appreciate it and hopefully adapt their own approach.

Be prepared to adapt

While the main social, environmental and economic factors won’t fundamentally change, they will always be nuanced and subject to shifting perceptions. This means that businesses have to remain in touch and up-to-date with what’s going on in the world and continue to consider their responses. So, while the services or products you provide may not change, the way you go about producing, funding or transporting them, will need to adapt in accordance with these factors.

Don’t greenwash

It’s essential to avoid making your purpose positioning an add-on or afterthought to your existing services. Authenticity and provable action really are the keys to success; you have to deeply embed your purpose position into your businesses values. And the easiest way to do this is to scrutinise your motivations.

Be mindful and you’ll be prideful

While we’ve focused on outlining the massive benefits to your customer base and revenue that having a strong purpose position for ESG will renumerate – don’t forget that if your business is passionate and involved in using your position to inspire positive social, environmental and economic change, this truly is a conscientious and principled task. You should be proud. Mindful business practices are the future of successful brands.

Do your part

It’s an unfortunate truth that just under 50% of companies believe that they perform effectively against environmental metrics. And only 39% believe their company performs well for governance, with just 37% for social issues.

That means that there’s room for improvement and plenty of work to be done. The sooner we make start, the sooner we can address these corporate doubts to build a better future.

For a deeper dive into purpose positioning, consider our whitepaper. The first in our new series of ‘Creative Intelligence’ guides. Drop an email to