Purpose-Driven Marketing & Mission-Driven Marketing: How To Do Them Right?

Have you ever heard of the coffee company “GreenBeans?”

Their mission was clear from the beginning: to protect the environment while providing consumers with the best cup of coffee. They source beans from sustainable farms and use biodegradable packaging. But they wanted to do more than just sell coffee; they wanted to make a difference.

GreenBeans is one of those purpose-driven brands that have mastered the art of marketing their mission. But what is purpose-driven marketing, how is it related to mission-driven marketing, and how can you do them right?

This article will answer these and will also provide purpose-driven marketing examples to give you an idea of how other brands do it.

What Is Purpose-Driven Marketing?

Purpose-driven marketing is all about aligning your brand with a cause beyond your products or services. In this kind of marketing, your goal isn’t just about making profits but also about positively impacting the world. When done right, customers don’t just see your brand as a business but as a change-maker that they’re proud to support. 

It’s a win-win situation: your company gets loyal customers, and the world becomes a slightly better place.

It’s important to note that purpose-driven marketing shouldn’t be confused with cause marketing. Cause marketing is about using a charitable cause to promote your business, while purpose-driven marketing focuses on aligning with and promoting a cause that matters to your target customers.

Why Is Purpose-Driven Marketing Strategy Important?

Purpose-driven marketing campaigns are essential for several reasons: 

  • Deepens customer connection. By aligning with values and causes that matter to customers, purpose-driven marketing helps brands develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with their audience.
  • Differentiates the brand. In a crowded marketplace, having a clear, authentic purpose can help a brand stand out. It offers a unique selling proposition that competitors may be unable to match.
  • Boosts brand loyalty. Customers are more likely to stay loyal to brands that share their values and positively impact the world. This loyalty can lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Attracts top talent. Many employees, particularly millennials and Generation Z, want to work for companies committed to making a difference. A strong purpose can help attract and retain top talent.
  • Drives business growth. A purpose-driven company often sees increased customer engagement and loyalty, which can lead to higher sales and profits. Furthermore, a study by EY Beacon Institute and Harvard Business Review found that companies that lead purposefully are more likely to be innovative and experience long-term success.

In short, a purpose-driven brand is not just making profits but also making the world a better place.

How to Build a Brand Through Purpose-Driven Marketing Strategies

Here are some steps to help you create an effective purpose-driven marketing campaign:

1. Define Your Brand Purpose

This is the foundation of your strategy. Your purpose should go beyond making profits but also reflect what your company stands for and why it exists. Think about the change you want to see in the world or the impact you want to have.

An example is Google’s “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” The company’s purpose is all about making information easily accessible to everyone.

2. Understand Your Audience

Knowing what matters to your audience is crucial. Conduct market research to understand their values, interests, and concerns. This will help you align your brand’s purpose with causes that resonate with them.

For instance, if you are targeting young adults, you should focus on environmental protection or social justice. Or, if you are targeting parents, you may want to focus on education or healthcare.

This is exactly how Spotify did. They analyzed the listening habits of their users to provide custom playlists, discover new music, and even host events that listeners might enjoy. Their “Wrapped” campaign, which provides users with a roundup of their listening statistics at the end of each year, has been widely popular. 

This shows that Spotify understands what its audience values (personalization and discovery) and utilizes this understanding to enhance user engagement.

3. Align with Relevant Causes

Once you understand your purpose and your audience, identify causes that align with both. Your chosen cause should be relevant to your business and meaningful to your audience.

TOMS Shoes has built its entire business model and marketing strategy around a cause: alleviating poverty. With their “One for One” program, TOMS provides a pair to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased. This purpose-driven marketing strategy aligns with a relevant cause and creates a direct impact. It has been instrumental in differentiating TOMS from other shoe brands and building a loyal customer base that shares the company’s values.

4. Incorporate Purpose into All Aspects of Your Business

From your products or services to your operations and company culture, ensure your purpose permeates every aspect of your business. This authenticity will strengthen your brand’s credibility. Remember, a purpose-driven business is more than just another company trying to make a profit.

Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company, has made environmental activism a core of its brand identity. This commitment goes beyond marketing to influence every aspect of the business, from the materials they use in their products to their supply chain practices and the causes they support. They use recycled and organic materials wherever possible, invest in renewable energy, and pledge 1% of sales to environmental causes.

5. Communicate Your Purpose Effectively

Purpose-driven companies use storytelling to communicate their purpose to their audience. Share your brand’s journey, the reasons behind your chosen cause, and the impact you’re making. This can be done through various channels, such as social media, content marketing, PR, etc.

Ben & Jerry’s is a popular ice cream company with a clear and well-communicated commitment to social justice, environmental sustainability, and fair trade. They regularly use their platform to discuss these issues and incorporate them into their marketing strategies. They are guided by their core values, which are also echoed in their promotions and campaigns.

For example, they have created flavors like “Save Our Swirled” to raise awareness about climate change and “Justice ReMix’d” to highlight criminal justice reform.

6. Engage Your Audience

Purpose-driven branding involves engaging with your customers and inspiring them to think differently. Encourage your audience to get involved in your cause. This could be through purchases (like TOMS’ ‘One for One’ model), volunteering opportunities, or online campaigns.

GoPro, a company known for its action cameras, has mastered the art of engaging its audience. They encourage their customers to share their own videos captured with GoPro cameras and often feature this user-generated content on their social media platforms and even in their advertising campaigns. This strategy keeps their community engaged and provides authentic, relatable content that showcases the capabilities of their products in real-world situations.

7. Measure Your Impact

Measuring the impact of a purpose-driven marketing campaign is different from traditional campaigns, as the goals often extend beyond just sales and revenue to include social or environmental impact.

Here are some ways you can measure the impact:

  • Engagement metrics
  • Brand perception
  • Sales and revenue
  • Customer loyalty
  • Social impact metrics
  • Earned media value

Ready to Unleash Your Brand’s Potential?

Ready to unleash your brand’s potential and make a difference? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create engaging, purpose-driven, mission-driven campaigns that will inspire customers and drive results for your business.