Last updated: Be a brand with purpose for real DTC success

Be a brand with purpose for real DTC success


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To me, the heart of all great brands is purpose. To be a brand that matters to people, you must have vision and mission. The most successful companies are those that have an overarching goal beyond just selling a product or service, and they use their products as tools to achieve this goal.

It could be argued that this may be the difference between a business and a company. A company is in the business of making money, but the purpose of the company can be so much more. A brand with purpose believes in giving back to their community by supporting causes and charities that fit the vision and mission of the company.

This is especially critical in the hyper-competitive direct-to-consumer market. Today, more consumers, especially younger Gen Z ones, look for brands that share their values.

Brand with purpose: Stand out by making a difference

The next time you go shopping for a new product, ask yourself if you really know the company selling it. If the brand doesn’t have a clear vision of what they’re doing or an inspiring story behind their mission, how can they expect customers to truly care about their products?

If a company is going to invest so much money into R & D, and marketing and advertising a new product and brand, then shouldn’t they really think through every aspect of who they are and what they stand for as a company before going to market?

DTC brands must have a purpose in order to set themselves apart from the competition, which include major brands that have massive advantages when it comes to things like access to funds and economies of scale. 

When you think about it, branding is not just about selling. It’s about creating a connection with customers and the community, as well as the world and future generations.

The brands that are truly successful have engaged in difficult and meaningful conversations and they aren’t afraid to talk about them publicly. This creates more meaning and value for their customers and the potential for raving fans who attract more customers.

Serving up more than coffee

The Fire Dept. Coffee is a great example of a successful DTC brand with purpose. Founded by Luke Schneider, a Navy veteran and former full-time firefighter/paramedic, it’s one of the fastest growing coffee brands in the United States.

Equally important however, is the support the brand provides to first responders in need through its Fire Dept. Coffee Foundation. Through the foundation, it helps those who have been injured on the job, mentally or physically, or are facing other serious health challenges. 

When I asked Schneider about the single biggest factor for the brand’s success. he responded: “Building a community. We launched around the concept that we’re passionate about coffee, passionate about the craft. But we wanted to do more than just make great coffee, because that’s what every coffee roaster does right?

“Most of our team is either active or retired firefighters….it’s who we are, it’s a community that we are close with. When you need help a lot of the time, you go to the people that are close to you,” he added. “Our mission is to make great coffee and support our fellow firefighters and first responders.”

Why it’s so important to give back

If you want to be a brand that matters, giving back is essential. It’s not so much giving back, but rather giving to the community that supports your brand and the community of which you’re an integral part.

As entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs we need to do things for other people and make the world a better place. This extends beyond the brand and the business to become the essence of the company.

Start by sharing your vision with the team, Schneider said. “Allow them to be part of the vision and the journey. What you will see when you do that is the team is all in.”

What this does is cultivate a culture within the company where each person feels they are part of something bigger. Being a brand with purpose, one that truly matters, can be difficult, but also extremely rewarding. 

Purpose powers the future of business.
Learn more HERE.

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