Brand purpose statement explained & why it actually matters for your outdoor business
Updated: Jun 10
The value of sustainable branding is as bottomless as the ocean –and it’s what will sail your purpose-driven outdoor business forward towards growth and success. But to get there, you need to have a strong brand foundation.
We’re not talking about the logos, colour palettes, or mood boards you see above the surface of a brand (although they do have their place). We’re talking about the brand foundations lying underneath the visual elements commonly associated with branding.
To build a rock-solid brand foundation for your business, you need to clarify your brand purpose, brand vision, brand mission, and brand values. Together, these four branding elements orient you and your brand toward the direction you want your brand to go – like a compass – which we collectively call your Brand Foundational Compass.
The core guiding statement of your Brand Foundational Compass is your brand purpose. Your brand vision, mission, and values will flow more naturally if you are crystal clear on your brand purpose. Maybe you’re wondering why your brand purpose is so important and impactful for your purpose-driven outdoor business –we’ll tell you!
The Impact Behind A Brand Purpose Statement
Every outdoor business knows WHAT they do (they sell a product or a service), but many don’t understand WHY they do what they do beyond making a profit.
Don’t get us wrong; your business, like ours, exists to make a profit. But making a profit isn’t enough anymore.
Now, more than ever, brands are being held accountable for their actions and are expected to do so much more than fill up their treasure chests with booty (read: make a profit). Businesses are expected to make a positive impact in this world.
An increasing number of stats back up why having a purpose is good for business growth, including a survey by Customer Thermometer which states that 13% of consumers would pay 31-50% more for products or services if they were under the impression that your business positively impacts the world.
Do you know which branding element helps you clarify to yourself, your team, and your customers how and why you’re making an impact? Your brand purpose statement.
You may be thinking that this is a pretty simple thing to craft. You might already have a brand purpose statement in your head that sounds something like this:
"My purpose is to sell ______ to my customer who is ______. "
But this isn't your purpose; this is your WHAT, or rather, a description of what it is you do.
What Is Your Brand Purpose?
Your brand purpose is the big WHY of your brand.
WHY does your business exist?
WHY did you start your business in the first place?
WHY do you do what you do?
WHY do you wake up excited to start your day?
As you brainstorm this WHY, think beyond the goals you want your business to achieve because your brand purpose is so much bigger and deeper than any business goal you set for yourself or your team.
Instead, think about the outcome you’ll achieve if you remain committed to your brand purpose. Describe what you plan to do and your overall vision for your business. Emphasize why you still get up every day and go to work feeling pumped and excited for what you do.
Why will your purpose benefit the world, and why will it make people want to be a part of this disruptive new idea?
What problem do you help your customers with?
What global problem do you want to address?
As you develop your brand purpose, focus on the people (either your internal team or your customers) and the emotional connection they have with your brand. Also, consider the feeling your customers get that makes them care about what you are selling and the larger impact your business has on the world.
When you understand and clarify the WHY behind your outdoor business, you will build brand loyalty and inspire others to take positive action.
Finally, similar to your brand’s vision (which we talk more about in this post), a brand purpose statement might be unattainable, but it still should be relevant and serve as a guide as you sail forward in your business.
The Two Halves Of Brand Purpose
As you craft your brand purpose, there are two halves –or rather, two different perspectives to consider. There is the business side, where you focus on the impact you want to have on your customers' lives, and there is the global side, where you focus on the impact you want your business to have on the world.
These two perspectives are known as your business purpose and your higher purpose.
What Is A Business Purpose
Your business purpose is the practical and emotional value your customers receive through your product or service. It’s a problem you solve for your customers and why you started your business.
Instead of focusing on the details of your offering, your business purpose should be about the impact you have on your audience's lives because this is what will increase the impact your business has on the planet.
What Is A Higher Purpose
Your higher purpose is the global cause or challenge that your business is willing to be an ambassador for. It goes beyond what your business does and focuses more on the bigger picture of how you want your business to positively impact something.
Environmentally conscious outdoor businesses are, by nature, driven by a higher purpose. You might have even started your business to give back and positively impact the planet. Where many companies have to dig deep to find their higher purpose, yours probably comes built-in.
Remember that as a sustainable outdoor business, you should consider both what you stand for on an environmental level and what you stand for when it comes to your customers.
An Example Of Tortuga Creative Studio’s Brand Purpose
To help you understand what we mean by having a brand purpose –and within that, a business purpose and higher purpose, we’re explaining Tortuga’s own brand purpose statement below.
“We are dedicated to helping purpose-driven outdoor business owners clarify their path through
branding so that they can confidently grow their business and increase their impact
on the planet. (business purpose)
“We are committed to supporting life underwater by focusing on sea turtle conservation and the ocean plastics crisis.
We support our higher purpose through adopting sea turtles with every project and offsetting
our plastic footprint each month. (higher purpose)
You can see that we haven’t specified any goals inside our brand purpose. Instead, we’ve expanded on WHY we are in business:
to help outdoor businesses find clarity through branding,
to serve a higher purpose through sea turtle adoption,
to offset our plastic footprint, to use our resources for the greater good
We address the problems we see in the world and explain why and how we are participating in being a change for good through our work as brand designers. We believe that as purpose-driven brands, we can all be ambassadors for causes that inspire our clients and benefit the planet.
How To Live Out Your Brand Purpose
A lot of brand builders lightly touch on purpose and then move on, but here at Tortuga, we genuinely believe that if you want your business to have an impact, you need a steadfast brand purpose.
Why? Because having a well-defined purpose at your core opens up endless opportunities for you (and your business) to live out your purpose every single day and inspire others to take their own positive action.
For example, you can add an impact offset for every purchase, client signed, or income goal met. Here at Tortuga, we remove 5 pieces of plastic from the ocean through our membership with Greenspark for every Brand Purpose Workbook downloaded. We’ve also committed to donating 1% of our annual income to the Sea Turtle Conservancy & SeaSmart through our membership with 1% For The Planet. Finally, we adopt a sea turtle for every branding project we work on.
Your purpose can come through in the tangible choices you make like the paper you print your brochures on, the vehicles you buy to transport your gear, and the sustainable or ethically sourced swag you purchase for your event.
There are so many incredible ways to weave your brand purpose into your business. You just need to do the work and really clarify that purpose first –and then take the associated actions to make a positive difference.
Find out how brand purpose can boost your business growth and impact
Diving deep below the surface of your business and putting the time into understanding who you are and what motivates you as a brand will bring more clarity and confidence as you navigate your voyage towards business growth and increasing your impact.
If you are looking to gain some clarity on your brand purpose, check out our Brand Purpose Workbook. In just two steps this workbook will help you polish your brand purpose in a way that will boost your business growth and help you make a difference in the world.