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Is your brand stopping short of everything it could be?

I was talking with an organization that was about to launch a new brand. They were spending significant time and money. And preparing to make a multi-year commitment.

We talked about their expectations for the brand. They stressed that it had to be something more than a name or a symbol. It had to contribute to the financial success of the organization.

While that is undeniably important, it still felt like a low bar. Of course the brand should be more than some logo. A brand should give you a reason to buy. And that should be more than us simply rattling off our features. It should connect directly to how it helps to improve life. But a brand shouldn’t stop there.

The brand should engage you in a way that makes you feel connected to something larger. The brand should help you feel like your purchases are doing more than buying you goods and services. It should make you feel like those purchases are helping to support a pursuit of something better for all of us.

This is most obvious in the brands that embrace the buy-one-give-one model like Warby Parker and TOMS shoes. But it’s not limited to that model. When you buy Dove’s products, you’re helping in their pursuit to evolve the definition of beauty in order to raise the self-esteem of women all over the world. It may not be as tangible as buy-one-give-one. But it’s no less important.

I call this your Big Audacious Meaning. It’s the desire of your brand to make a difference in a life, a community, or the world.

When you add a Big Audacious Meaning to the formation (or evolution) of your brand, you go beyond giving those you hope to serve a reason to buy. You give them a reason to believe. To feel like they are part of something. Maybe even to help them become part of a movement led by your brand.

That’s when a brand becomes something special. Something powerful. Something enlightened.

Just remember this. Good brands give you a reason to buy. Great brands give you a reason to believe.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on December 12, 2019.

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Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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