“Where are you going? How will you get there?”

Companies rush into branding exercises to improve their brand’s appearance without asking themselves those critical questions.

During the first workshop for the Shape the World series 2009 this point was presented for the participants to deliberate upon. Lawrence Chong, Director for Strategy Development at Consulus Cato Partners, explained the importance of brands being guided by purpose.

A brand without purpose will not have longevity. The following signs of lack of purpose were summarised during the first half of the workshop:

  • Wastage of resources
  • Missed opportunities
  • Lack of guiding principles
  • Talent drain
  • Slow channel momentum
  • Slow recall and poor association, leading to slow sales

Some founders subconsciously limit their growth, because they are unable to see their brand’s role in relation to the industry at large. The longevity of a brand essentially depends on how inclusive the purpose is.

Purpose-led branding is a difficult journey, but it is a logical move for companies that are in it for the long haul. Otherwise, it would be a waste of money.

The first half was concluded with Rachel Bateup and John Lee, both consultants at Consulus, sharing their experiences of how purpose-led branding has created a company culture that encouraged momentum at work.

“It was a great presentation that reinforces the importance of branding and how much we underestimate its power,” Huang Minghui from Buzan Asia Pte Ltd, said.

Workshop participants were also given an opportunity to break into smaller groups and apply the concepts to various case studies. Each group presented a branding plan for their assigned company.

Participants left the workshop understanding the importance of purpose-led branding and ready to truthfully answer the difficult question, “What is your purpose?”