Exploring brand purpose dimensions for non-profit organizations

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Adopting and clearly communicating a higher purpose has become a key priority for many brands. More and more commercial organizations see purposeful branding as the next competitive advantage and are aligning themselves with a worthy cause or societal issue. Non-profit organizations (NPOs), which arguably are inherently purpose-driven, should also be leveraging the power of brand purpose. This paper studies brand purpose within the NPO space and explores different dimensions of purpose communicated through social media, namely Facebook. Twenty brands across five broad NPO categories of Community Development, Education/Children, Culture, International and Environment were chosen. Four key purpose dimensions emerged: CHANGE, SUPPORT, EMPOWER, and FIGHT. Further analysis of the diversification versus concentration of these purpose dimensions indicated that only a few of the brands communicated a single purpose on their Facebook page. Most NPO brands examined adopted a multidimensional brand purpose. This study adds to the brand communication literature and offers managerial implications for NPOs considering brand purpose strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-198
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Brand Management
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Brand purpose
  • NPO brand personality
  • Non-profit branding
  • Social branding


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