Impact Branding

What is impact branding?

If a brand is the heartbeat of your company, then impact branding is all about making that heartbeat taking a stand for the greater good. Impactful brands act differently than regular businesses, because they are equally committed to the people, planet world and values that their customers care about

Think of brands like Tesla, Tom’s Shoes and Patagonia. These brands didn’t just start businesses that make money, they created movements in their industries because of what they stand for. It’s no surprise that these brands have radically committed fans and followers supporting them.

great example:

Impactful brands are on a mission to change their industry for the greater good.
Tesla’s mission:

“Accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”

What’s brilliant about this is how inspiring this is to Tesla’s customers, because they’re not just buying a car, they’re investing in a business that is advocating for a sustainable environment. It’s aspirational and it’s changing the world.

tesla lay rubber

a bad example:

Regular brands, are on a self serving mission.

“Our mission is to operate the best specialty retail business in America, regardless of the product we sell. Because the product we sell is books, our aspirations must be consistent with the promise and the ideals of the volumes which line our shelves. To say that our mission exists independent of the product we sell is to demean the importance and the distinction of being booksellers.”

That leads into another 100 words of blah, blah, blah. It’s corporate babble at it’s best. There’s nothing inspiring about this for a Barnes & Noble customer. It’s all about them and it fails to connect how being the “best specialty retail business in America” will make a positive difference for its people and planet.

Even when a company has a corporate responsibility program, if it’s not putting impact at the core of its mission, it’s just window dressing.

barnes n noble

what are the benefits of impact branding?

“Brands with a purpose grow twice as fast as brands without a purpose” Jonathan Atwood, Unilever

It creates real competitive differentiation

It builds genuine trust and loyalty with your customers

Nearly two-thirds of consumers across six international markets believe they “have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society”

It attracts top talent and keeps employees engaged because 21st century employees are focusing more on mission, purpose, and work-life balance

One study found that employee morale was 55% better in companies with strong sustainability programs. It reduces risk factors in the supply chain

Fostering can lead to significant reduction in costs and increase profitability over the long-term

how do you create an impactful brand?


Conviction + Clarity

As the leader for your business it’s important that
step is for you as a leader is to get clear on your purpose, vision and values. The more conviction and clarity you feel around your vision for impact the more likely you are to lead your company towards that reality.

BFTH illustrations 08
BFTH illustrations 02


Customer Centricity

Now that you’re feeling clear about what’s important to you the next step is to engage with your customers to understand where the connection points are between you. Here a review of the competitive landscape along with qualitative research with your customers will be needed.


Impact design + messaging

At this point you can start to activate your clear direction into messaging. This will culminate in your overall brand strategy, a series of outcomes that includes mission, vision, values, positioning, differentiation, messaging, tagline, manifesto, business name and product names.

Once you accomplish the above, you’ll be ready to move into the (exciting!) brand identity phase, wherein you explore different visual themes in-cluding logo design, photography palate, textures, colours, fonts etc.

BFTH illustrations 15


Brand Activation

Once the brand look and feel is established and approved, you can begin to apply it consistently to your website, signage, merchandise, product pack-aging, collaterals and more. Your brand is ready for the world!

impact brand example: one more woman

Let’s walk through the four steps above with an example of a brand that has ‘impactful’ down to a ‘t’.

You may have already heard of One More Woman. If not, just you wait: they’re on a movement to change the very way business is done!


step 1| conviction & clarity

Like many visionaries, One More Woman Founder Jennifer Love had all sorts of great ideas prior to launching her business. The first step into forging these ideas into One More Woman was getting laser-focused on things like values and key messaging, as well as the purpose and vision she wanted her movement to actualize in the world.
Below is the matrix One More Woman used to gain clarity. (Although not every section is filled out during Step 1.) Learn more with our Impact Method Roadmap.

omw chart

step 2 | customer centricity

Jennifer Love knew that she needed to connect with her audience if she was going to create a movement for, and with, them. She made their mission the company’s own.

It’s carried over. Everything One More Woman does now has ‘wow’ customer experience all throughout it. Here’s an example of a retreat they put on last year. The guests were greeted with Kombucha when they arrived. There was oceanfront aromatherapy yoga at the villa. Every day the women lit their intention on the altar. There were beach walks. On and on … Wow! That’s connecting with your customers!

peeps jumping

step 3 | impact design & messaging

For many people, Step 3 is the most exciting. You’ve done your soul searching, you’ve connected with your audience, you’ve put in the work … and now you see your brand strategy come together.

Jennifer experienced this with One More Woman. The culmination of all her work is phenomenal! Please see how it came together on the website. Here’s one aspect – the manifesto – below:

omw scribbles

step 4 | brand activation

No need to add much written explanation here. Let’s see the results!

omw spread

before I hired brands for the heart, I was bumbling around. Now I have a clear focus. We sold out our first ever event. Landed an investor in the first 40 days of launching. Secured a 6 figure sponsor deal. What a great indicator of the need for this movement and brand!!!

Jennifer Love, Founder, One More Woman

When it comes to impact brands, there are  good examples and bad. Which will yours be?

Ready to chat about your brand?