How To Become A “Believable Brand”

By Pat McGuinness

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By Pat McGuinness

Believable Brands™ are the output of organizations that know why they exist — they’re about purpose as much as product. They leverage marketing communications as an extension of their purpose. Believable Brands don’t just say, they do. They don’t just promise, they produce. They don’t just list their values, they live them. Being a Believable Brand in 2018 isn’t just a nice thing to do — it’s essentially a requirement if you want to drive growth and create brand loyalty.

Kantar Consulting’s new Purpose 2020 report, “brands with a high sense of purpose have experienced a brand valuation increase of 175% over the past 12 years, compared to the median growth rate of 86% and the 70% growth rate for brands with a low sense of purpose.”

Edelman’s 2015 Brandshare Report from the Harvard Business Review, “87% of consumers say they want a “meaningful relationship” with brands. 23% of consumers feel like they have one.”

To put it as simply as possible (even though it’s not a simple or quick process), in order to become a Believable Brand you must define your Brand Purpose, then deliberately align and elevate Company Culture, Customer Experience and Communications with that purpose. You can’t just say you have it, you have to live it.

It’s important to note that your purpose doesn’t have to be a cause for the greater good — like TOMS donating a pair of shoes to someone in need or Patagonia helping to clean up our environment. Although those are wonderful things to be doing, the whole point of being a Believable Brand is that your purpose is only true to you. The cause-oriented way of doing business works for TOMS and Patagonia because it is actually true to who they are as a brand. Guinness and Apple have just as strong reasons for existing, and even though they aren’t out to save the world, they are incredibly successful brands because they live by their purpose. (Yes, Apple is an obvious example, but it gets the point across). The point being, you don’t have to be a do-gooder to be a Believable Brand you just have to be true to who you are as a company.

Trumpet wanted to create a space where stewards of the industry could go to study the many different aspects of Believable Brands. Every day we see different articles, ads, ideas surrounding Believable Branding scattered in different places. As an office we circulate these pieces around for inspiration. After doing this for a while we started to think, wouldn’t it be nice if all of this content lived in one place? One platform we could go to and find the most believable and purpose-driven brands? So, we created, a one stop shop to go to for inspiration and confirmation alike; that being a Believable Brand is not simply where the world is headed — it’s where the world is right now. is meant to be an open space for collaboration and discussion to better educate ourselves on where the industry is now and where it will be in the future. If you have a brand you feel is believable — let us know so we can feature it on the site.

Pat McGuinness — Founder / Executive Creative Director

As Creative Director and CEO of Trumpet, Pat has been integral in fostering relationships with the agency’s local and national clients by delivering work that gets results, building a roster that has included New Orleans & Company, The New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Seafood Marketing Board, Answer ALS, Zagat and more. His creative work has been published in the Communication Arts Design Annual and The One Show for Art and Copy, he’s a New York ANDY award-winner and has won national, regional and local gold Addy awards.

Originally published at

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