The magic at the intersection of meaning and money

When I help people understand the power of a Brand Purpose, I get reactions that range from “Is that really possible?” to “That’s awesome!"

It doesn’t start that way. When people hear the words, “Brand Purpose” they naturally tend to think of things that corporations have done for years. Things like donating money to charities. Or rallying their people to spruce up a playground.

These are great things. But they are not a Brand Purpose.

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Doing these things serves society. But what if we could serve society while financially bettering the organization we work for? So we can turn around and help everyone prosper even more while we prosper. That creates a virtuous circle (I refuse to call it a “win-win” - you’re welcome). That’s what a Brand Purpose does. It brings together meaning and money.

It shouldn’t be a trade off

For years, it was as if meaning and money were polar opposites. You had to decide which one you wanted.

  • Did you want to bring meaning into the world? Then be prepared to sacrifice money to do it.
  • Did you want to make a whole bunch of money? Well, then be willing to delay doing anything with meaning attached until you were independently wealthy and could become a philanthropist.

What organizations are starting to discover is that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. It’s really a simple formula. It looks like this:

More meaning = More money

Don’t believe me? Ask Unilever. Their purpose driven brands like Dove and Ben & Jerry’s are growing at twice the pace of other brands in their portfolio.


A Brand Purpose is found at the intersection of meaning and money. It is the magical territory where how we make a difference aligns with how we make a profit.

It’s time to believe that meaning and money are simpatico. They’re like peanut butter and jelly. Or better yet, rainbows and unicorns.

That’s it. A Brand Purpose and your bottom line are like rainbows and unicorns. That would explain why it feels so – what’s the word?

Oh, right. Magical.


Dan Salva is a co-founder of Will & Grail, with more than three decades of experience in brand marketing and developing and implementing go-to-market strategies. He can be reached at

PurposeDan Salva