Did Pepsi just kill the importance of Brand Purpose?

I’m not going to do another critique of the recently launched, and swiftly pulled, Pepsi ad in which Kendall Jenner saves the world by handing a police officer a Pepsi.

You can watch it and read all about it in plenty of other places.

Instead, I want to share my thoughts on authentic brand purpose.

The Pepsi ad implies that purpose is as simple as attaching your brand to a cause your audience cares about. In doing this, they missed the part about purpose being authentic.

A lot has been said about the role of purpose in brand and business success in recent years. Put simply, brands that have a clear, authentic purpose are more successful.


Clarifying your brand purpose is extremely powerful

  • It describes the impact your brand makes on the lives of your consumer
  • It enables you to communicate authentically and build engagement
  • It inspires your team to excel

Oh, and of course, being clear about why you do what you do makes your work-life and brand decisions a whole lot easier.

Conversely, trying to grow a brand without clarity of purpose is rather like driving with the handbrake on. The car still moves, but it ain’t half hard work!

If you feel you’re busy ‘driving’ your brand with the brake on, it could be that you need clarity around your purpose.


Brand Purpose isn’t some secret formula

While uncovering and defining your brand purpose takes some effort, it’s simple to understand the benefit of communicating your purpose or why.

Simon Sinek explains it in his book Start With Why and his TED Talk in which he sums it up well in saying…

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it”.

In identifying your brand purpose, you need to ensure it’s ownable, actionable, rooted in insight and describes the impact your brand makes on the lives of your target consumer.

Don’t get too lofty though…you need to ensure your purpose is authentic and compelling for consumers.

If it’s not compelling, you won’t get any traction and if it’s not authentic…well, your consumers will soon let you know – just ask Pepsi!


At BrandWorks, we support business owners in reinvigorating brands and accelerating growth.


1 thought on “Did Pepsi just kill the importance of Brand Purpose?

  1. Pingback: How Amazon illustrates the importance of developing long-term strategy – BrandWorks Marketing Ltd

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