The purpose of purpose

Jaid Hulsbosch

Jaid began his career at Hulsbosch before spending six years in Europe working as business development director with two leading design firms in London and Amsterdam. Returning to Australia in 2010, Jaid re-joined Hulsbosch as a director, responsible for all aspects of business management from planning to HR, new business and partnerships. He takes an active role in promoting Hulsbosch’s creativity, uniqueness, enthusiasm and passion for strengthening client’s business.


There is now a fifth ‘P’ in the marketing mix.

Everyone knows the 4 P’s of marketing: Price, product, promotion and place. The integration of a purpose pillar to marketing’s traditional model is gaining traction as the critical tool fundamentally changing and evolving the way we do business.

The simplest way it’s been explained to me is: ‘A company’s purpose is their higher order reason to exist than just making a profit’. Here are some examples from leading global brands:

Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

Google: “To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” 

So what’s the purpose of a company’s purpose? Why is it important? And why is everyone talking about it?

In developing enduring consumer loyalty and unwavering trust, it is crucial both company and customers share common values. People need to care about a brand before they want to know about it.

It’s the role of the entire organisation’s identity, how it behaves and what it stands for. An alliance on these attributes lies at the heart of a relationship that will forge close emotional ties with consumers and the foundation of a powerful purpose.

A beautiful example is Dove’s purpose. The company dug deep within its DNA to discover its brand purpose was girls and women, and their real needs.

Driving the intention to support females’ body confidence, Dove launched its acclaimed ‘Real Beauty’ campaign. It was ranked number 1 on Ad Age’s Top 15 campaigns for the 21st century and judging remarks included these from BBYO New York's Greg Hagn: “Bold, counter-intuitive work for this brand. Shows what can happen when a brand adopts a higher purpose.”

Dove’s prominent purpose-driven marketing has been successful with a multitude of accolades and awards but also achieved a huge sales increase from US$2.5 billion at campaign launch to $4bn a decade later. It was one of the first trail-blazing purpose driven campaigns – and continued with many brand iterations over the years - to open up a global conversation about females’ beauty and self-esteem.

Starting out his career in New York ad agencies, successful author and in-demand motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, captures succinctly the purpose of purpose: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” 

With this perspective, the role of a brand then is to embody cultural meaning that is at the core of a company’s identity (or what they perceive this to be).

For example, Australian football (soccer) stands for ‘unification’, a position that celebrates the rich diversity of football in our country and the power football has to bring people of all backgrounds together under a common passion. First and foremost, football is a brand that has now done the work to clearly articulate its core purpose, discovering what goes beyond their existence and demonstrating it’s more about doing something profound than just enhancing their bottom line.

The purpose of a brand’s purpose is that it’s the central force around which an organisation pivots and is the engine of a business. Remember the brand is the organisation, so it makes sense to clarify its purpose and then build from it. Purpose, together with simplicity and consistency of message, are what make a great brand. Because only strong, inspiring, purpose-driven brands that transcend their products or services have something genuine to offer

Tags: Dove, marketing strategy, brand strategy

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

More whitepapers

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

This journey would identify all your future life aspects!

Maryann Humphrey

Open Colleges: one-to-one journeys is the goal

Read more

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

ok. so no RCS support? by the way, RCS is a lot bigger than 5G in terms of marketing and monetisation so y'all should be covering it.

DragoCubed

Optus goes for education with 5G network campaign

Read more

Many companies and individual merchants have shifted their major part of marketing to web marketing services Portland as it weighs fewer ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

This is a unique experience! Will be interesting to talk to their managers.

Joyce Harris

​How Krispy Kreme revitalised its brand in a saturated market

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in