Whole brands win on purpose.

Whole brands win on purpose - Wide

Consumers don’t see brands like most marketers, and they never have. They don’t see brands as media flowcharts, brand books, and digital transformation roadmaps. They see brands as the sum of every experience they’ve had with a brand.

In all of these touchpoints — from company culture and customer service to design and advertising — whether you recognize it or not, you are communicating about your brand.

Brands that know this and activate against it are what we call whole brands.

What's a whole brand?

We define whole brands by four characteristics.

A whole brand:

  • is an organization that treats everything it does as the brand.

  • is a core, long idea that inspires and connects every action a whole brand takes, across the spectrum of marketing ideas to business ideas. We call this the red thread.

  • is full of purpose and action, and it matches what it says and does internally with what it says and does externally.

  • measures success holistically by balancing profit and performance across the Whole Brand Spectrum™.

Whole brands dominate the market

Whole brands firmly believe that every action they take is one more reason to choose them, or not.

They see everything they do — from sustainability plans, culture, product and service innovation, design and experience, and marketing — as creative endeavors, knowing that their biggest unfair advantage is their belief and behavior system, and how creative their culture is. They also dominate the market.

Through our State of the Whole Brand 2022 report, we have talked to over 13,000 consumers and more than 150 brands in more than 30 categories, and we found that whole brands are preferred two-and-a-half times more often than category competitors, are twice as likely to be recommended, are five times more likely to be seen as a brand on the rise, double the Standard & Poor’s 500 index in market performance and command a premium price among consumers.

Purpose guides and drives whole brands

And at the center of the top-scoring brands in State of the Whole Brand 2022, we studied a metric we call Purpose Power, the percentage of consumers who perceive a brand standing for something more than making money. Brands with a clear, decisive, and inspiring purpose do much better than brands that don’t. We found there is a positive correlation between purpose and market performance — 41% of market performance for brands in our study was explained by Purpose Power.

Purpose is not an isolated idea or a marketing tool; it is an everything tool that can and should guide and inspire everything your brand does, inside and out. At Barkley, we believe leading with purpose, and applying Whole Brand Thinking™ to every decision, can help you turn your brand’s purpose into a competitive advantage that also impacts the world for the better.

Whole brands are preferred 2.5x more often than category competitors

This is a profound moment. There has never been a better time to be an amazing brand, a whole brand, than right now. The world isn’t waiting for the government and its policies to save it. It’s looking for changemakers like you. Like us. It’s looking for good business. Business, as a force for good.

Download the Purpose Up Report

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