How to Market Brand Purpose in Retail Stories

By Chloe Dinsdale Oct 6, 2022

 Today’s retail landscape has welcomed an age of unlimited options. The ease of e-commerce means that customers can buy exactly what they want at all hours of the day. And e-commerce will become increasingly more prominent, slated to grow by $11 trillion by 2025. While this can be good news for shoppers, it also poses a challenge for retailers as it’s harder than ever to build lasting connections.

As Millennials become the country’s largest generation group, it’s important that brands take stock of this generation’s buying habits and motivations. Millennials strongly prefer companies with sustainable, ethical, and socially conscious practices and standards. This trend is consistent as Gen Z shoppers come of age too.

Creating content that clearly states your retail company’s brand purpose is crucial to standing out and being remembered. It’s not just price that motivates shoppers to add to carts these days—surveys show they’re more willing than ever to pay a premium on goods from companies whose purpose aligns with their own values.

Your brand purpose is your reason for existing and what you stand for above all else. It’s the foundation of how you conduct business, including how you treat employees, where you source products from, and how you deliver goods. Your brand purpose should add value to the lives of your shoppers and society as a whole, and it should set you apart from competitors. Different from your brand mission, values, and vision, your brand purpose sits at the very center and answers the “why.”

This messaging is especially important for retail and e-commerce brands: shoppers are four times more likely to repeatedly buy from a company with strong brand values, according to a recent Shopify report. Sustainability stood out as a top priority, with 77 percent of respondents conscious of products’ footprints. According to a recent Think With Google post, searches for “ethical online shopping” grew over 600 percent globally in 2021.

So you’ve built purpose into your brand. Your team is on board and bolsters this purpose every time they come into the office. Now it’s time to create content that markets it to your customer base.

One way to do this is to share stories of impact. Dive into the ways your retail brand is working to bring its purpose to life. What procedures do you have in place to better the lives of people in your community? What initiatives do you contribute to? What has been the impact of your sustainability practices? Hearing the human side helps consumers connect with your brand.

Go a step further than stating your brand purpose—add credibility by actually showing that you stand behind it. Stating your purpose isn’t always enough to show consumers that you’re serious. Whether it’s a response to happenings in the news, around the world, or in your industry, content that illustrates how you put your brand purpose to action shows consumers it’s more than lip service.


Perhaps most importantly, be consistent and authentic. When your content aligns with your brand purpose, this only adds to your credibility. Without consistency, it’s hard for shoppers to understand what you’re really about and what you stand for. In the same way, content that shows your brand purpose in an authentic way builds trust. Be sure that your content backs causes or issues in a meaningful way that contributes, rather than looks like it’s just following in the footsteps of other successful brands.

Why does your retail company exist? Why did you create it? What is your brand purpose? Begin with these central questions to create meaningful content that captures the attention of customers.

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