• Tom Dewhurst

Why Brand Purpose is More Important Than Ever - with Ashley Usiskin

Updated: May 18, 2020

Who are we talking to?

Ashley has over 20 years experience in senior positions at world-class agencies such as BBH, and working with industry-leading companies including Virgin Media, Gordon’s Gin and Gazelle Bikes In 4 global hubs - London, Sydney, Madrid and Amsterdam.  He’s also a co-founder of Calbey virtual assistant app, and is a Techstars mentor.

He now runs, a brand and marketing coaching consultancy, that partners with clients to define their:

  • brand purpose

  • market positioning

  • product-market fit

  • customer insights and journey

  • go-to-market and scale-up strategy

Passionate about brands and results-driven creativity, and guiding and inspiring teams, particularly start-ups, to achieve success and a positive impact. Outside of work, Ashley is the captain of the Dutch Maccabi cycling team, a charity fund raiser, travel photography lover and lifelong Liverpool football club fan.

Which growth channel are we talking about today?

Branding: Purpose Definition and Implementation

Describe this channel to someone who’s never done it before?

Less a channel, more a way of working.  It about defining what you stand for and why, and then weaving it into every dimension of your business. Then bringing it alive consistently in every interaction: internally with your team, partners and stakeholders, externally with customers and your industry.  

What frameworks have you used?

I often use Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle.  Simple and effective way to define why you do what you do and how is it different.  This becomes a blueprint for every key decision. 

Can you share any relevant case studies or projects?

Many.  From launching Doppio, an e-bike brand; to a purpose re-evaluating exercise for a sales and PR agency; to defining the ambition of Akzo Nobel innovation unit.

What about any challenging projects?

Those where the founders or stakeholders are on different wavelengths. 

Top 3: mistakes to avoid?

  1. Jumping straight to a name and/or logo without thinking about what you want it to ‘say’

  2. Inside-out thinking.  Rather than what you do, people want to know what you do for them, for society - and why.

  3. Trying to please everyone. When you do the perceived brand value is often minimal.  Focus on giving genuine value to the relevant few and they’ll evangelise your brand for you. 

Top 3: businesses nailing this channel at the moment?

  1. Dove - living and breathing their purpose for 20 years

  2. Tony Chocolonely - stick unwaveringly to their mission to make chocolate 100% slave free

  3. Patagonia - championing ‘Do no unnecessary harm’ and ‘Use business to protect nature’  way before it became fashionable

Top 3: key KPIs?

  1. Repeat purchase/churn 

  2. Recommendations/referrals

  3. Premium price 

Top 3: tools for this channel?

Not a tool but a cool initiative started up during the pandemic -

Top 3: tips and hacks for this channel?

  1. Be unwaveringly authentic and consistent

  2. Focus on the walk and the talk will take care of itself

  3. Have your purpose present always somewhere in your environment - post-it note, screensaver, email signature

For clients, what are the pro's and con's of working with Growth Division marketing experts?

Best thing is to be part of a genuinely collaborative, mutually motivating, supportive community that never stops learning. Worst thing is we hardly get the chance to actually meet and have that beer or coffee!

Do you want to find out more from Ashley?

Sign up for Growth Division's Masterclass Series


For Marketers

Growth Division



Contact Us

London HQ

CoWork Division

Book a Call

Growth Division © 2020