In my last post, I concluded with this: “all businesses, including yours, exist solely to build a brand.”
Whenever I write or say this, it provokes a response, and this time was no exception. “How can you say building a brand is the sole purpose of my company?”, the responses go. “What about earning a profit/delivering value to shareholders/creating a great product/acquiring customers/et cetera?”
My answer is that all of those things are important, but they all depend on a strong brand, and so building a brand is more fundamental to the purpose of business.
The difficulty, perhaps, is that we often talk about brand without actually using the word “brand”. Consider this quote from Peter Drucker:
The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.
Once you understand that your brand is how a person feels about you (I’m going to stop saying “you/your company/your product”), you see that Mr. Drucker is really talking about brand.
How do you create a customer? You establish a emotional connection between you and them that’s positive and prompts them to use your services (and hopefully give you money for the opportunity). And how do you keep a customer? You nurture and grow the emotional connection between you and the customer to make it enduring.
Everything else we do in our businesses either contributes to this (creating a great product that meets your customer’s need builds a positive emotional connection with them), or is derivative to it (with passionate customers and a good business model, you’ll earn a profit and deliver value to your shareholders).
By definition, to create and keep a customer, you must create and grow a brand. Ergo, the purpose of business is to create and grow a brand. Q.E.D.