2nd Annual Marketing Leadership Panel: Finding Your Brand's Purpose

April 24, 2017

If you missed the event on April 18, we’ve got your back! This year our Marketing Leadership Panel discussed a simple yet trivial topic, “Finding Your Brand’s Purpose”. Hosted by Nicole Nye, SVP Marketing at Olson, AMA Minnesota featured engaging panelists that represented companies true to Minnesota:

Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand & Communications Officer at Deluxe Corporation

Remi Kent, Global Brand & Strategy Leader at 3M

Kristin Prestegaard, Chief Engagement Officer at Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia)

As today’s B2C and B2B consumers demand more of brands than previous generations, it is vital to have  transparency, and have a strong brand purpose to share.

But, how do you create a brand purpose?

Amanda answered this by saying, “Think about what people would be missing if your brand didn’t exist?” Every company starts with a small business, which might potentially have other competitors, and the thing that sets it apart from them is – the brand purpose.

Take Barbie™, for example; the brand purpose states, “To inspire and nurture the limitless potential in every girl.” Barbie dolls since have evolved with time, coming in different sizes, colors, and even in various professions. This reflects the purpose which is unique, personalized, and one that every girl can relate to.

Our enthusiastic panelists shared their experiences of how their brands succeeded by finding their purpose.

Amanda mentioned that Deluxe Corp. started as a check printing company in 1915 that helped small businesses grow and offered financial services. With the passage of time, Deluxe evolved into a marketing services firm, helping businesses with advertising, logo design, web hosting, etc. The mode of accomplishing goals may have changed, but the company stayed true to its purpose. Amanda continues to work with small towns and their businesses through “Small Business Revolution” along with Robert Herjavec.  This Main Street movement inspires people to support small businesses.  Watch Main Street seasons one and two on smallbusinessrevolution.com to learn more about the powerful lessons.

Digging further into the subject was Remi Kent, who said that there are two important steps to establish a brand purpose.

  1. Why does your brand exist? The purpose should not be only about the products or features, but the reason of existence. It has to “make a mark in the world”, she said, hinting at “Post-it”.
  2. What acts can you do to spread the word about what your brand believes in? When your brand has a purpose, you should know how to share it with your target audience. Brand purpose is something inspired from people and the culture.

“The fruits are in the roots, but somewhere along the line, we get lost.” – As quoted by Remi.

Wrapping up the panel was Kristin, who shared some history about Mia, along with how it developed its brand identity. The strategy began with the name – “Minneapolis Institute of Art” to “Mia”. The original name was long and confusing to many. Mia (pronounced Me-ahh) was not only easier to say, but the word itself was very personable in various languages, translating to “mine”or “my own”.  It became more than just an abbreviation while representing Minnesota.

To help with advertising and better presenting the fine art museum, the following strategies were implemented:

  • Branding – Used larger visuals that don’t overcome the art
  • Lobby redesign – It used to be a vacant space but is now furnished with a desk setup and staff to make people feel welcome
  • Onsite signage – Signs were reviewed so that they were in a language that common people understand
  • Experience uniforms – Staff uniforms were redesigned to make them more casual and approachable, less “guard-like”
  • Products – Merchandise promoting Mia were added, such as totes, umbrellas, T-shirts, etc.

Brand purpose is about being authentic and genuine.