The 3 most overlooked ways to take your brand strategy to the next level (Pro Tips)

Brands become powerful assets when people identify and associate with them. That only happens when the brand strategy is intent on bringing meaning to the relationship. You’ll notice I didn’t say “transaction”. Because the value of a strong brand is its ability to transcend a single transaction to become part of a person’s life. When it achieves this, it creates differentiation, preference, and a whole host of other characteristics that give it exceptional powers. Like the ability to ask for premium pricing. Or, to gain forgiveness for a misstep.

This is rare territory for the majority of brands we encounter every day. The good news is that it’s territory that any brand can inhabit.

Now I don’t want to make it seem like we can deploy a few gimmicks and in short order create the latest darling brand of people everywhere. But this really is a realm that is open to any brand that recognizes and caters to what people want in a relationship with a brand today. As you might imagine, this takes a brand strategy that dares to adventure beyond the usual fences we put around ourselves.

Our next-level brand strategy is rooted in one game-changing piece of insight. Purpose-driven brands are more potent in their ability to foster those meaningful relationships with all those we hope to serve.

This purpose (I call it Big Audacious Meaning) can be world changing in its aim. But it doesn’t have to be. It can be very personal, focusing on how it can make a difference in one life at a time. Or, it can be anywhere between those two ends of the spectrum.

No matter where you land, adopting purpose into your brand strategy opens the door for some extraordinary ways to take your brand strategy to the next level. Here are 3 leading examples.

We all want to feel like we are having some positive impact for the world around us. Brands that recognize and help us accomplish this earn our love and loyalty. The very nature of a Big Audacious Meaning is to declare the difference we will make in a life, a community, or the world. This naturally enables us to distinguish our brand through the difference it is helping us make. The brand becomes the conduit for delivering experiences that demonstrate this effort.

We all have dreams. Dreams of who we want to become. Dreams of what we hope to accomplish. The most powerful of these have a bit of altruism attached to them. These are the most powerful aspirations we harbor. Brands with a Big Audacious Meaning help those we engage with work toward these most powerful aspirations. Imagine becoming our prospects’ trusted ally as they strive to fulfill those dreams in their lives. Here is the best way to describe this difference. We can settle for the familiar territory of positioning our brand around what it can help someone do. Or, we can position around their aspirations and how we will help them work toward what they can become.

Belonging. It is a powerful need we all have. In fact, It’s right there smack in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A brand with purpose invites in those we want to engage to become part of our movement to make a difference for the world around us. It’s no longer just, “Buy what we’re selling.” It becomes, “Join us in making things a little bit better.” This shift in our brand strategy shows our potential movement members how their purchase with us can help contribute to something bigger. It doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in making a sale. It just means that we lead with something more valuable to them — an effort larger than any one of us. An effort to make things a little bit better for the world around us.

In the crush of everyday business, purpose is something that can too easily get forgotten. Even if we went through the process of discovering and declaring one. The details of the day can overwhelm us and make the familiar territory of adequate brand strategy seem, well, adequate.

Who wants to be adequate?

Maybe it’s time to really investigate that purpose in our brand that is just waiting to be released. Just waiting to make a difference. Fulfill an aspiration. And even create a movement. That’s next level stuff.

Dan is the creator of the Big Audacious Meaning. 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. He regularly shares his insight here on Linkedin and at

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.