Brands with Purpose

What makes a brand compelling? What is it about a brand that resonates with its customers? And what happens if your target audience is not aligned with your brand’s primary purpose? We asked these questions, and many more, of Greg Perotto, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Brand & Communications at Hootsuite in our latest episode of Unleash Possible.

Brand development requires a number of fundamental questions to be answered in order for a brand to be compelling, and ultimately successful. First and foremost, it’s a given that a brand needs to uniquely solve a customer need, or fill a gap in the marketplace. But the more difficult task is defining a compelling purpose for your brand, one that clearly articulates why your brand exists for your customers, as well as your employees. The “why” of your brand gives your customers a vision of your product or service they can connect with. Your brand’s purpose solidifies your employee’s commitment to fostering your product or service, and it’s what draws your customers to it. Without the why, brands will miss the mark when it comes to targeting the right audience and making the brand truly compelling.

Another critical component to a compelling brand, is your brand’s point of view. What do you stand for as a brand, and as a company? We see brands today aligning with social causes that can potentially polarize their customer base. If a brand gets behind a cause that’s in alignment with who they are as a brand, it’s a win-win. However, if they try to align with a cause that is not genuine and authentic to their brand, customers will see through this as opportunistic. Taking bold steps to align your brand with a cause is a good thing. It just needs to be a part of who you are as a brand.

And at the end of the day, companies need to strive for a consistent brand experience across every customer touchpoint. Successful and compelling brands embed their brand purpose in everything they do; from the employees they hire, to their sales and marketing efforts, to their corporate culture, and everything in between. Customers come to expect that consistency each time they interact with your brand.

At Hootsuite, Greg and his team strive to “Champion the Power of Human Connection”, which sounds counterintuitive for a company so deeply entrenched in social media. However, social media itself has given voice to communities that previously had none, it has enabled social causes to be intimate, and social media brings people together. Ultimately, Hootsuite’s brand is exactly aligned with this purpose.