Why brand purpose is more important than ever

These next few months will highlight the importance that purpose first work brings to communities, and the brands that use their platforms to truly action change. We will start to see the cracks in the purpose led statements that exist merely for marketing, and those that truly live it.

By Mandy Barker

The world is in crisis. Parts of the economy have come to a pause. What does this mean for communications?

This is an opportunity to look at the bigger picture, and reinstate your brand purpose. The world is on pause, reflecting and prioritising for the better. Selling (or buying) is not a priority, meaning direct marketing should be on hold.

There are two types of communications.

  • Brand marketing: your story, purpose and change you want to see in the world.
  • Direct marketing – selling your services.

Go back to your brand marketing – your reason for existing. This should be central to communications at any time; but it’s now more important than ever. Why did you start your business? Why does the organisation you work for exist? What real world change do you want to see? Any world-focused purpose will have a link to the pandemic, and your purpose doesn’t have to change, but how you communicate should.

You should be communicating your story, your challenges, your purpose, and how you are adding (or aim to add) value to communities. This is not the time for selling-if you try this and get it wrong, it will have detrimental impact (unless you have a very pandemic-appropriate product).

Take the opportunity to connect with people, audiences and collaborators that care about the same things you do. The world needs radical change, conversation and positivity more than ever.


Here are some quick communication tips:

  • Create meaning and relevant content. Respond to the current environment. How can your knowledge/skills/approach help people navigate in troubling times?
  • Do not post anything inappropriate to the time (this will change daily as we settle into a new normal)
  • Act calm, even when under significant stress
  • Ask people how you can help. Audiences, service users, volunteers. Prioritise your relationships. Make positive noise and help people through this
  • Have a dedicated landing page with your response to Covid19 and your action plan. Reassure people
  • Turn off inappropriate marketing automations that lack current self awareness
  • Use real, authentic messaging – it’s okay to appear as vulnerable. Be human, share your story,
  • if you need support, ask for it.
  • Speak to clients – ask them how they are feeling
  • Plan ahead – look to the future. This may be hard, we know many people are firefighting through crisis, but we will come out the other side; and when we do, things will change quickly. Be ready to react
  • Pause and think – be patient. Slow and steady, it’s a long game, there is no overnight remedy
  • Engage and interact with other people and accounts. Conversation goes a long way, on all channels. We just need a little love.
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