Vulcan Brand Meld: How to Find Your Brand’s Purpose

Some of the most compelling brand stories—the ones that really grab consumers—are discovered when you understand the true purpose of your brand.

Let’s say you own a winery. Why does a normally sane professional drop a more lucrative career in (industry: fill in the blank) and invest time and money in a capital-intensive, competitive business that is reliant on the weather?

Vulcan-Brand-MeldPersonal motivation is often at the heart of this decision, and can provide a rich source of heartfelt, authentic story telling. Frequently, your story is more important than what’s in the bottle or whether the wine scored 89 or 90 points. Maybe your purpose is to pass along a successful company to your children, or you want to support organic grape growers, or you are fascinated by the mysteries of fermentation. Whatever the case, chances are your brand’s purpose provides the framework for your human story.

But for many owners, getting to the brand’s purpose is difficult. Pardon the STAR TREK reference here, but Spock’s ability to tap into the memories and emotions of other characters may be an apt metaphor. You can tap these ideas by recreating some “exercises” commonly used by management and marketing consultants (like us).

Normally we moderate meetings with clients to unearth these ideas, which help us develop the communications foundation for marketing and sales. But you can probably do the same thing with your team.  Set aside 90 minutes with your team and answer questions such as:

  • If you won the lottery tomorrow and worked only for fun, why would you still work?
  • What part of your role is the most satisfying, and can you identify why that is?
  • Pretend it is 2024, and you are looking back at a decade of successes. What were the milestones? What were the key turning points that defined your success?

What are the benefits of finding your brand’s true purpose? Knowing the fundamental purpose of a brand can guide and inspire sales and marketing communications (often centered around a summary “purpose statement,” which is for internal use only). Second, it’s difficult to get your whole team on the same page if they don’t know why you started the company. Third, these exercises surface misplaced assumptions.  In one project we conducted, the vision of the owner and president were diametrically opposed, and fortunately the president found another employer four weeks later!

Unlocking a brand’s true purpose will help you create the communications foundations for your brand, including a positioning statement, elevator pitch and key brand benefits.

About Benson: We are an integrated marketing agency with offices in Napa, New York and Paris, specializing in strategy, trade promotion, PR and digital marketing for wine and spirits marketers.