Brand Building

6 Reasons Why Brand Purposing Outplays Positioning

The first thing that comes to mind while thinking of brand building is positioning
6 Reasons Why Brand Purposing Outplays Positioning
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Chief Strategic Instigator, Wolfzhowl
4 min read
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Brand building has always been important and in today’s world of cut-throat competition, fractured media and consumer indifference, building your brand has become even more important.  The first thing that comes to mind while thinking of brand building is positioning. While positioning is about creating a differentiation for your brand, Purposing is about making a difference to people’s lives.

‘Purposing’ is amongst the latest branding buzzwords making waves. Is it something entirely novel? No! Either consciously or intuitively, some great brand teams have undertaken this route. Purposing is a branding approach that induces behavior change by effectively shifting brand interaction from consumer engagement to human engagement. It also takes into consideration the ever-evolving post-digital consumer mindset.

The model helps in re-framing the business you are in, AirBnB is in the business of ‘helping people belong anywhere’, not merely in the business of helping people find rooms and home stays when they travel. This unique purposive re-framing of your business helps you approach every aspect of your business and brand with a single consumer-centric vision.

Imagine the power of every aspect & every function of your business working with the end-consumer / customer in mind. Magic is bound to happen.  In order to embrace brand purposing, it is essential to understand the key differences between the clichéd positioning and the magic of purposing.

#1 Purposing is for people and society at large

Positioning is for a certain, specific consumer segment; whereas, Purposing impacts people in general and society at large. Therefore, positioning gains a mind-shares by propagating brand benefit, but purposing gains life-shares by truly impacting consumers’ lives. Purposing earns your brand social capital, positioning does not.

#2 Purpose has a wider approach

The primary manifestation of Positioning is brand communication. Whereas, purpose application is much wider; it is the guiding force that directs an organization’s culture and policies, product design and innovation, consumer behaviour change, brand communication, to name a few. It is driven by an organization’s values and heritage and is a foundation on which the brand’s mission, vision, belief, positioning, personality are crafted.

#3 Purpose is proactive

Positioning is crafted as a response to the external environment and aims to have a differentiation with respect to competition. Au contraire, Purpose is proactive, and aims to solve a larger consumer/societal problem. In doing so, it automatically ends up establishing a differentiation over competition and creates a blue ocean for the brand to play in.

#4 Purposing will have a long lasting impact

Positioning is more elastic; it can be altered relatively more frequently and is easier to execute. Purpose takes time to emerge and implement. It also has to percolate through all levels of the organization. It doesn't change, but can evolve over time. Purposing can last you a lifetime, positioning possibly lasts a campaign or two now – a days.

#5 With Purposing You Embrace A Philosophy

Since Positioning answers “Who we are”, it endeavours to sell the product. Purpose dictates “Why we exist,” and therefore embraces and propagates a philosophy, which people tend to adopt and champion. Like in the case of Apple or Tesla etc.

#6 Positioning Loyalists are more fickle than Purpose Loyalists

A crucial, perceptible difference between the two can also be seen in the type of brand loyalty that they invoke in their respective customers. A Positioning loyalist defends his/her brand only on product performance. Whereas a purpose loyalist will not just defend product performance but also, the brand’s intangible aspects like its values and philosophy.

Purpose brands are therefore trusted more, loved more, recommended more, followed more and even forgiven more, because they happen to make a real difference to people’s lives and the world they inhabit.

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