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The Power of Brand Clarity is Purpose

June 08, 2022


The Power of Brand Clarity is Purpose

Marketers work hard trying to keep a brand relevant and fresh. And more importantly, ideas need to first survive the boardroom.

This task is a significant challenge with Marketers working to that short-term need while holding the organization true to delivering the purpose inside a brand. A clear purpose that every level of the organization understands enables everyone to do their job better and decisions to be made faster.

Most importantly, it ensures that any executional refresh or other element stays true to the brand’s core strategy.

Let’s think about Canadian Tire as an example. Canadian Tire has gone the route of kind of kitschy and quirky with their “mascot,” Gary. Gary is a bumbling every-guy with an overinflated sense of himself, but he’s kind of funny. His bumbling leads him to need to fix something—either with help from Canadian Tire or a Canadian Tire shopper.

That’s a departure from older Canadian Tire ads, which featured a different sort of “character.” Unlike Gary, though, this fellow was competent. He fixed everything himself, and he told viewers all about how he did it with the help of his Mastercraft toolsets.

So, what’s going on here? How do we get from ultra-competent to kind funny and bumbling? We can look at either of these “characters” and see the same core strategy: inspiring confidence in customers.

Somewhere along the way, the older, hyper-competent expert guy changed, perhaps as a way to enable the brand to be more engaging. Or perhaps research suggested that the expert mechanics did not believe the Mastercraft brand name was the brand an expert would recommend. Perhaps Mastercraft was seen as not the best name in tools, but a great brand for the everyday homeowner.

The shift in character instead of recommending became a Gary that inspired confidence in customers. After all, if this bumbling guy can pull it off, then there’s no way we can’t. And that’s where we see Canadian Tire customers helping Gary out when he gets himself into a pickle. Everyone can be competent with the right tools.

That is ensuring a brand remained “on purpose” while the execution shifted to stay fresh and relevant.

This brand clarity: Canadian Tire is not the authoritative source for home Renos or tools but a great alternative for anyone to be competent in-home improvement projects remained consistent. 

Looking at our Canadian Tire example, we can see that Canadian Tire wants to inspire its customers with a can-do attitude. Gary says to people, “Yeah, we’re not Home Depot with their ‘building experts’! We’re Canadian Tire—and we believe that if this guy can do it, so can you!”

When we have brand clarity, it enables us to always deliver a strategy that is both believable and ownable. And that means we can craft campaigns that speak to the heart of who we are and what we believe. And from there, we’re speaking to our customers. We know ourselves, and we know them, and we know why they’re here, why they buy from us.

Understanding that gives us an edge in this market. We know where we’re positioned in the market. We know where we stand. We know whom we appeal to and why. That’s maybe the biggest battle there.

If you don’t know why you’re here (purpose) or what you value, you can’t make that clear to your customers. And if you don’t understand those things, you’re going to have a hard time understanding why they buy from you.

So instead of fumbling around, guessing at purpose, or grafting on messages from other brands, let’s aim for clarity about our brands. Why are we here, and what do we value?

Understanding that will unlock our brand potential and allow us to connect with our customers in a brand-new way.

Like always, then, we have to start with the why!

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