The Motivation Behind Mission-Driven Brands

“If your brand doesn’t stand for something, then it’s not a brand worth working for.”

– Hannah Jones, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nike

Not every entrepreneur or creative, professional or business is driven by making a positive difference in other people’s lives. But if you are, there’s good news.

Trends and research point to people wanting more from businesses. Some new research also suggests that mission-centered brands not only are improving their bottom line. They’re also gaining a more genuine community loyalty, shifting our attitude about what branding is, and improving employees’ sense of purpose and productivity.

What we are and are not talking about

When we talk about the psychology of branding, we walk a fine line between manipulation and elevation. The same tools that can help people have truly valuable experiences also can suck people into snake oil. So, I offer these insights in this context with appreciation for those nuances.

Your brand is not a flashy logo or website. Those are only facets of branding.

Here are working definitions useful to put into context these trends and studies:

A brand is the total emotional experience someone has with you. “You” means all of your business’s touch points – your website & social media presence, technology, team interactions, partnerships, loyalty programs, customer support, product purchases, product use.



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