Branding doesn’t start with a logo. Begins with your brand essence. You likely know brands that not only sell products or services but also have a mission. Patagonia creating clothing making unnecessary harm to the planet. Tony’s chocolonely ending slavery. Too Good to Go, stoping food waste. These examples above are just a few. I am sure you will have your favourites. But they all have something in common. They have the purpose of creating a positive impact. But how does a business without purpose find one? Well, funny you ask because below I have five ideas to help you find yours.
1. Check the Sustainable Development Goals from the UN
A few years back, the UN put together a series of goals to help create a sustainable world. These are 17 goals in which countries should tackle hunger, war, poverty, etc. These goals are an excellent resource for businesses as it is not the responsibility of governments, but all must do our bit. If you can’t find your purpose, the SDGs site will likely inspire you.
2. Ikigai 生き甲斐
Ikigai is the Japanese philosophy of finding your reason for living. In this word, the kanjis used (Chinese characters) are Life 生, Voice 甲, Beautiful 斐, basically purpose.
Your Ikigai is the intersection of the following questions: “What do you love”, “What the world needs?”, “What can you be paid for?” and “what are you good at?”. If you find the answer, you will find your Ikigai.
3. Hobbies become jobs
Hobbies are things we do because we love them. They have not a single connotation of a chore. If your hobby is a meaningful one, such as volunteering or bird watching, they will likely take you to your purpose place. You can even create your business around your hobby. At Etsy, you can find a lot of entrepreneurs who start their business from their passion.
WARNING: You have to be aware that this idea comes with a trade-off. When you do a hobby, you do it because you like it. However, when it becomes a job, there will be days you don’t fancy doing it, but you will have to. I’m just saying not to discourage you, so you are aware.
4. Find inspiration from your cause
Most of us have a cause for what we believe in. Causes are the engine of many campaigns, and your business could become a cog to this engine. So many companies attach themselves to a movement or cause as Patagonia has done with Extinction Rebellion. One of the causes I am most passionate about is refugee injustice. You can choose to give part of your benefits to a charity. This is an easy way to make a positive impact, as you only commit to a minor part of the benefits to do good stuff.
5. Show them the way
You can build a business from your own experiences. For example, many people have found a way to overcome mental health or become more sporty. This way is itself a good way to create purpose because your purpose is your own experience. Note that it has to solve a problem that people really care about, but you can be the guide if you managed.
These are just a few ideas, but remember that your purpose has to be aligned and strategic to your audience. If you want to continue learning more about purpose or audience, keep reading. Here’s a selected post that might help you broaden your knowledge.