Brand purpose is all the rage. It enjoys almost spiritual status among brand marketing believers who praise its virtues due to the business benefits it delivers1.

But here’s the rub. It’s debatable if these business benefits are attributable to brand purpose or whether they’re down to brand purpose masquerading as well-established brand, strategy or corporate social responsibility terms. If so, brand purpose may tarnish the already fragile c-suite credibility of branding professionals if it’s perceived as pulling the wool over their eyes.

So this article goes against the brand-marketing mainstream. It offers an alternative perspective and questions whether brand purpose serves a brand purpose.

Understanding brand purpose

Brand purpose concerns why a brand exists. Its reason for being or fundamental premise. Deep and meaningful stuff. But deep and meaningful thinking is required if brands are to realise their full potential as valuable business assets.