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12 Principles for Purpose-driven Brands and Culture

Posted: September 24, 2018 |

What values guide your organization to inspire, empower, and motivate people? Does your organization’s brand personality reflect its values and its unique voice and expression?


This post originally appeared on Aespire.


Clarity Helps Your Brand Find its Voice

What principles guide your organization’s behavior and give your brand its voice?

Finding clarity is a cultural imperative for brands that stand for something. Achieving clarity of purpose and vision empowers leadership and your team to simplify, clarify, and transform your culture, and inspire people to listen, care, and act.

If you know there’s a gap between what your organization says it values and stands for and how it practices business, how would you feel if your leadership team shared this thought with you:

Upholding our brand truths is everybody’s responsibility. If we’re not aware of what our brand represents and communicate it clearly, people will fill in the gaps with what they believe—whether it’s true or not.

What can you do about aligning values, brand, and messaging to create a culture of clarity?

Since 2013, hundreds of mission-driven companies and causes have strengthened their culture and brands with 12 principles for communications. While the resolutions of The Cause Manifesto form a strong foundation, to help organizations achieve clarity of purpose, communication, relationships, and leadership — it’s time for the principles to evolve as a guide to finding clarity.

The Simplicity of the Clarity Credo

Be Strategic

Every organization needs clarity of purpose, values, communications, and vision to create alignment between culture and brand, so people care and act.

Which do you think is essential to a strategic approach to aligning your brand and culture?

Aespire Clarity Credo Strategy

Be Focused

Lack of clarity for your brand quickly becomes evident if you can’t articulate your purpose, cause, and vision.

Find your focus to bring clarity to brands and culture.

Aespire Clarity Credo Focus

Be Meaningful

Do you understand what values guide your organization’s behavior and action, and what motivates and energizes your customers and supporters?

Aespire Clarity Credo Meaningful

Be Insightful

I  used to think insight was about the data — it’s really about clarity — a clear and focused path for the mission, actions, communications, and outcomes that empower you to fulfill your purpose.

Aespire Clarity Credo Insightful

Be Inspiring

When you make people the center of their story (not your organization’s), you begin to understand how branding works: People tell themselves a story about how your brand fits into their worldview.

Speak to their mind and touch their heart. A story that’s about them will let them know why they should care about your brand.

Aespire Clarity Credo Inspiring

Be Engaging

Listening is tough, especially if we’re eager to tell our story without listening to the community we serve.

If you spend time asking questions and inquisitively listening (listening with curiosity), your empathy for solving design and other problems will increase.

Aespire Clarity Credo Engaging


Download the new Clarity Credo poster and receive 12 months of insights for clear and focused brands and culture.


Be Social

If your organizational culture prioritizes programs over people, you miss the opportunity to engage people deeply.

Meaningful brands understand that relationships matter more than marketing.

Aespire Clarity Credo Social

Be Grateful

The last thing you want to do is take credit for what others help you accomplish. Share the love and be grateful for what you accomplish together.

Aespire Clarity Credo Grateful

Be Trustworthy

Accountability and transparency are at the core of building trust with customers and supporters of your organization.  It’s why we spend so much on branding and marketing. Break the trust you work to build, and you may not regain what you lose.

Aespire Clarity Credo Trustworthy


Download the new Clarity Credo poster and receive 12 months of insights for clear and focused brands and culture.


Be Positive

People listen to what you say and watch to see if your actions match your words. That’s how branding works and how you nurture culture. Being positive is a better motivator than pessimism. Don’t you agree?

Aespire Clarity Credo Positive

Be Powerful

Courageous and visionary leaders can’t be timid.

Power is more about strength under control, influence, and the unwavering assurance that your vision will make a difference.

How are you powerful in your business?

Aespire Clarity Credo Powerful

Be Courageous

A reluctant leader hides deep inside each of us.

Courage overcomes fear. Be the example of leadership that you want people to copy.

Not only will you multiply the leaders around you, but you will nurture a culture of shared values that turns your vision into reality.

Aespire Clarity Credo Courageous

It’s easier to talk about finding your brand voice than it is to actually go through the work to do it. When you make a human connection—where your brand and all it stands for is perceived as believable because your organization views customers as people, not people as customers—your company will grow.

Begin applying the principles of the Clarity Credo to guide your team, shape your brand and culture, and watch your company grow.

Jeff is the Director of Marketing at Virtuous CRM. He's passionate about digital marketing, design, and helping nonprofits connect with their donors to have a greater impact in the world.

See more posts from Jeff Jacobs

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