A really thoughtful post from Nick Asbury on the phenomenon of “brand purpose”, which has come to dominate the world of branding in the past decade:

“It’s a hazy fiction that allows people to think well of themselves, even as their decisions are driven by commercial incentives. The defining dynamic of Tech Valley is this outward belief in brand purpose, allied to an inward focus on venture capital and IPO, where you just have to get enough people to believe in your story for enough of the time. IPO is the cashing out of brand purpose.

“Mark Zuckerberg is the supreme example – brand purpose is the wind beneath his hydrofoil board. But we all live in Zuckerberg’s world. I believe passionately that, each time we lend credibility to brand purpose as a concept, another corporate sociopath gets their wings. It’s time to stop feeding this narrative that has dominated the last decade. Turn off the dry ice machine that provides the corporate atmospherics. See the world as it is.”