Leading with Purpose: Key takeaways from 3 brands


Leading with Purpose: Key takeaways from 3 brands

July 21, 2021

TikTok For Business, Editorial Team


Doing business today looks a lot different than even a few years ago for many reasons. Today’s consumers are more socially aware, and are ready and willing to use their voices and their spending power to support businesses who show the same commitment to their values. This desire to effect change for themselves, their culture, and the future creates an opportunity for businesses to lead with their core purpose that aligns with that of their target audiences.


It’s a pivotal moment where we are discovering leaders at companies of all sizes and across all industries are on a mission to spark positive change and drive impact. For many of these brands, TikTok has become a channel to help them do just that.


Earlier this week, we hosted a panel, Leading with Purpose, where incredible leaders from purpose-driven brands shared their experiences and insights on how they are creating a positive impact and connecting with their audience on TikTok and beyond. The discussion covered the importance of authenticity, creating space for the community to express themselves, uniting others under a shared purpose, and above all, the importance of listening to your community. Read on for the highlights!

#1 Tell your story authentically

For some businesses, including Two Blind Brothers, the purpose is the reason for your business’ existence in the first place. Other businesses have to do a little more work to find the causes and passions that are most meaningful for their brand. Either way, it’s critical to find a way to share the story openly and honestly, and in a way that connects your audience and your business to your purpose.

“Every time we try to over-produce and get in our own way, and try to make our story fit somewhere it doesn’t necessarily fit, it underperforms,” said Bryan Manning, co-founder of Two Blind Brothers. “When we just speak exactly to who we are to the audience who cares most about us with all of our heart and soul, that is really where we find a lot of success.”

#2 Build your community

As you share your purpose directly and clearly with audiences on TikTok, your community will grow in size. However, it’s important to not just focus on the number of followers, but also creating the space to interact with them. As a purpose-led brand, E.L.F. is "by the people, of the people, for the people." An early adopter on TikTok, the brand's "Eyes. Lips. Face." anthem allowed their followers to interpret this purpose into a movement for their entire community--to date the song has been used in over 1.4 million TikToks.

“There was no prescription that we put around it,” said Gayitri Budhraja, Vice President at E.L.F. BEAUTY. “It was all about enabling unbridled self-expression and allowing the community to self express.”

#3 Share your purpose with others

Being purpose-driven isn’t something that can be done halfway. To be successful, your business has to fully commit and own your purpose. By being 100% invested, you will find it’s easier to not only share your story, but to also align with creators that can help share your story with their followers.


Dovehas owned the purpose of fighting against unnatural beauty standards for more than 20 years. Their most recent campaign, Reverse Selfie, encouraged followers to stop retouching selfies and share their true selves instead.

Knowing young people respond better to advice from other young people, Dove partnered with TikTok creators who could help their purpose reach new audiences in a way that would hold their attention. And it worked--to date the Branded Hashtag Challenge #NoDigitalDistortion has amassed over 96 million video views on TikTok.

“The activation on TikTok let us use creators to connect with their communities in their authentic voices, in their own authentic ways,” said Global Brand Director Kathryn Fernandez. “It let them use their own authentic language so they could connect.”

#4 Join the conversation

One of the great things about finding your purpose is also finding others who feel as strongly as you do. It’s important to seek out those who are already talking and add your voice to the conversation. This connection and participation will help you strengthen your purpose as well as your relationships with those who also support it.

“There is something going on with the users on TikTok that does not happen on other platforms,” said Bradford Manning, co-founder of Two Blind Brothers. “People engage with us and our content, and then go out and share our purpose with others.”

This was certainly true for Two Blind Brothers' #ShopBlindChallenge campaign, which reached an audience of 7.9 million on TikTok. The community flocked to post videos unboxing their "blind" purchases and sharing the story of the brand and the cause. Manning noted that they'd never seen content like this on other platforms.

#5 Don't forget to listen

Before joining the conversation, it’s important to make sure you take the time to listen. A lot of businesses can be too quick sometimes to join the conversation assuming they know what their audience wants to hear.


“Don’t approach the platform with any preconceived notions and just listen,” said Budhraja. “If you just listen and keep an ear to the ground, you can uncover gems that resonate that you can amplify.”


There is no set process on how to identify the purpose for your business. However, once you’ve discovered it, TikTok is the platform that will provide you the ability to authentically share your story, grow a passionate and engaged community, and own your purpose.

▶︎  If you missed the panel, you can watch the full recordinghere.

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