Brands understand the inherent value of doing good in the community. Spend becomes a tacit endorsement as people within both the B2B and B2C arenas gravitate towards organizations who champion a set of values that aligns with their own.

Putting your purpose at the centre of your brand gives audiences something deeply personal to connect to and is highly influential in developing long-term loyalty and advocacy.

This was a significant driving force in shaping the brand-customer relationship last year. Being purpose-led became the benchmark by which brands started to measure themselves.

Asking the questions: “How did the stories we told, the innovation we drove and community of customers we supported all lend themselves to our overarching brand purpose of making the world run better and improving people’s lives?”

In today’s digital landscape, consumer patience for “lip-service purpose” is nonexistent. Leading brands are not defined by what they choose to stand for, but by the meaningful difference they make towards a solution.

What are the top lessons that can serve as a roadmap for connecting with audiences through purpose and values:

The abstract idea of the “corporate citizen” may have satisfied stakeholders in the past, but those days are long gone. Accountability is a defining characteristic of successful ownership of brand purpose. Leading organizations demonstrate how their on-the-ground initiatives and partnerships contribute to the values they champion.

Not every brand is equipped to handle every issue. Consumers today are acutely aware of this and perfectly comfortable making very public examples of those who have appeared to capitalize on trending conversations. Don’t be afraid to have frank conversations with employees, partners and customers to glean a better sense of what topics stand out for them. Dig deeper into your overarching purpose and take a look at what it is your brand has to say and ensure alignment between where you can have a voice and where you can’t. Consumers increasingly value trust, so ambulance-chasing does significantly more harm than good.

Consumers see the societal, economic and environmental issues and are asking brands, “so what are you doing about it?” Marketers are increasingly accountable for working across the business to spur action and find creative ways to infuse it into the brand narrative which, in turn, drives deeper customer connections.

Getting it right is a journey – there is no one-and-done solution. All of this can inspire the type of once-in-a-lifetime connection that brands, alike crave.