Dear Branders. I Think I’m Done With Brand Purpose. Here’s Why.

Nathaniel Bastin
5 min readJan 27, 2023

Dear Branders,

I have a confession to make. As a devoted brand marketer, it’s something I’m almost too afraid to admit. As I write this letter, I can feel my hands trembling with each newly scribed word.

This isn’t going to be easy. But, deep breath. Here it goes.

I think I’m done with brand purpose.

…aaaah. Well, I must say — I actually feel so much better for that. I’ve been bottling it up for a very long time now, causing myself unbearable internal struggle and distress. Sweet relief!

Before you all jump on me, I guess I’ll need to explain. So, let’s set the scene.

Back at the beginning of my career, I — like many a wet-eared brander — was all in on brand purpose. I’d parrot the whole well-worn spiel about the importance of businesses forging an emotional connection with customers and colleagues through a sense of shared purpose.

And let’s give the devil its due for a moment. I believed then and still do, that — beyond a certain Mazlowvian level of need — a sense of purpose is about as potent a human motivator as there is.

It feels good to be associated with a purposeful aim. So it’s only natural that…



Nathaniel Bastin

Full Stack Brand Builder | Published in “The Startup”, “Better Marketing” & “Entrepreneur’s Handbook” |