One of the best ways to snag the attention of your target market is by getting their hearts involved, not just their heads. Emotional connections are extremely powerful, not just in our relationships with each other, but with brands, too.
The most successful brands have found a way to forge a bond with their consumers—and won their lifelong loyalty in the process.
And the best brands aren’t born, they’re made. Deepening the emotional connection with your customers is something that can be learned. That’s where the whole idea of purpose-driven branding comes in.
Purpose is something that naturally triggers an emotional response. It’s our reason for being, in people as well as in brands. It can inspire and motivate.
Purpose is an essential element of your beauty brand, especially now, as more brands than ever are taking an active stand on issues related to social justice. It’s no longer good enough for a brand to remain silent and impersonal; at least, not if you want to create lifelong fans.
The Research Is In
This isn’t just anecdotal, either. There’s research to back it up. A study conducted by Cone suggests that purpose-driven brands are taking a strong lead in the market. This applies to all brands, not just beauty brands, so it’s worth paying attention to.
Here are a few of the findings:
- Almost 80% of Americans are more loyal to purpose-driven brands than “traditional” brands
- A similar percentage, nearly 75%, are more willing to defend these brands
- 78% of consumers feel that a company can no longer just make money; they should make a positive impact on society, too
- A whopping 88% of consumers would buy a product from a company that’s making a positive impact
- And, 66% would use social media as a platform to actively promote a purpose-driven brand’s message, as well as additional company info
These statistics are mostly great, though they do raise the bar a bit. Purpose-driven brands carry with them an expectation to do more than turn a profit; they’re expected to make meaningful, lasting contributions to society, and to actively keep pace with the latest attitudes.
The Power of Loyalty
Of course, higher consumer expectations can be a great thing. In working harder to meet increasing expectations for brand behavior, companies have more exposure, and potential to connect with their customers in the ways that matter most to them.
Over time, this deepens the relationship and will strengthen the loyalty of your customer base. In a competitive market, this is a huge advantage. Your customers are more willing to try new products, pay a higher price point, and promote your company—and all in the name of brand loyalty.
Remember that today, brands are championed far more for enacting positive change than for making money. If your beauty brand can respond to new challenges in a timely manner, and adapt to respond quickly (and compassionately) as events unfold, you’ll see more success than if you try to remain neutral.
But Here’s the Catch …
Building a purpose-driven brand is hardly a quick fix. And, simply putting a positive purpose front and center in your branding won’t replace a high quality product.
Consumers still rank quality above purpose and cost-effectiveness, so it’s important never to let quality slip in favor of other considerations.
To make the biggest possible impact, you need to do well with purpose and with quality. Never use purpose to distract from other issues.
The Far-Reaching Impact of Purpose
The value of finding your brand’s purpose goes far beyond improved sales and marketing performance. You also get an edge in the world of consumer investments, and attracting top talent.
People are more likely to invest in—and go to work for—brands whose purpose they connect to. Millennials in particular will often buy products more for a company’s story than for the product itself.
In For a Penny …
Here’s another thing to remember. American consumers expect you to back up your assertions with action. Brands must show full commitment to the causes they publicly stand for if they are going to be seen favorably.
More and more of us want to see consistency in the brands we love (and advocate), and action around social justice issues like environmental protection, gun control, healthcare access, and so on.
You Can’t Please Them All
Don’t try to get involved in every issue that’s popular at the moment, or even that you care about. There are lots of great causes out there, and it’s a classic mistake to attempt to get involved in all of them.
Focus instead on just one issue that your beauty brand can truly stand behind. A single-minded focus on just one issue demonstrates that your company is united and serious in its support of whatever you’ve chosen.
Consumers want brands to be committed and clear about their purpose, and to relay consistent message on their packaging and website.
Not a Marketing Strategy
Although there are numerous benefits to operating as a purpose-driven brand, it shouldn’t be approached as a mere strategy. Your purpose should be truly heartfelt—not just for you, but for your company, too.
A genuine desire to promote positive change must become an integrated part of your brand identity, and should guide the activities you undertake (or pass on).
The bottom line is that, if a company engages its target customers with a genuine purpose, they’ll create loyal followers for life.
Want to learn more?
Our own beauty brand, 42 Dubonnet, practiced what we preach here when we started actively supporting the Everglades Foundation, which is close to home and dear to our hearts.
For a start-to-finish look at more on how to build and grow your beauty business, check out our course, Learn How to Launch a Beauty Product. We cover every aspect of starting a beauty business, from creating a solid foundation and getting funding to manufacturing, branding, sales, and marketing. This guided approach keeps you on track and makes the process feel less overwhelming. To learn more about turning your product ideas into reality, sign up for our newsletters and read more about the course here.