As a company, do you sell “products” or “missions”?

When we browse a company’s website, the homepage often conveys a lot of information about the company’s positioning and goals. Of course, most for-profit companies take selling products as their main goal, but some companies convey marketing messages in more interesting and unique ways.

Brands tend to choose one of two marketing messages: product marketing or mission marketing. It is important to understand the difference between the two, let us see who is strong and who is weak through a series of examples!

What is product marketing?

Product Marketing
What is the position of Product Marketing ?

Product marketing focuses on the characteristics and advantages of the product. It will use promotional language to prompt consumers to take action. The “action” here first refers to purchase, but also includes indirect actions such as following company accounts and adding email subscriptions.

Even for the content of indirect channels, the language is often propaganda. In product marketing, information transmission tends to use quantitative language, pay attention to price concessions, and continue to repeatedly purchase products, point programs and the benefits of product placement.

You can also carry out product marketing with the following questions: What can this product bring to consumers? Here are two examples of companies using product marketing:


Official website:

product marketing
Shopee Website

When first time to Shopee’s website, visitors can get a lot of information about product sales and discounts. The website navigation bar surrounds the shop’s offers and delivery discount. If you are a new user, there are many benefits and offers such as “Free Shipping without minimum spend“, “RM 18 off discount voucher for once orders” and “Free Gift with purchase specified products“.

There is very nice offer for new user that they will have the lowest price for some deals. Many people would like to buy the things at the same number of day and month like 11 November and 12 December, because there will a lot of cheap and discount offers during those dates.

Target ( the second largest discount retailer in the U.S.)

Official website:

product marketing
Target website

When you visit Target’s website, the first thing you see is a lot of purchase-related information. The navigation bar of the website is almost the same as Best Buy, which guides consumers to browse product categories. The same is true for secondary areas, such as “Find a Store“, “Weekly Ads“, “Gift Cards” and so on.

They are better than Best Buy, that is, they emphasize their red card discount (REDcard), but they only occupy a small area. Target’s main goal is also to promote consumer purchases.

What is mission marketing?

Mission marketing
What is your company mission ?

Mission marketing values the value and impact of products, and it uses inspiring language to drive consumers to take action. The operations here may also include purchases, but more refer to indirect operations, such as joining email subscriptions and following the company’s social network accounts.

The content language of its indirect channels is also promotional. Information conveyed tends to use qualitative language, focusing on arousing consumer awareness, and building a communication community for like-minded, in line with product styles, and inspiring people.

You can also carry out mission marketing with the following questions: What kind of experience does your product bring to consumers?

The following are examples of two companies applying mission marketing:

TOMS shoes (a famous American casual shoe brand)

Official website:

Mission marketing
Toms website

Visitors entering the TOMS website will be immediately attracted by the Merry and Brighter banner of the center. TOMS believe in a future where all people have the chance to thrive. That’s why we invest ⅓ of our profits in grassroots efforts, like organizations creating change at the local level, and driving progress from the ground up.

Grassroots good is the result of a community mobilizing to address an issue they’re all impacted by, like services that are scarce, or statistics that are too high. These efforts are highly effective because they’re led by members of the community. These leaders have passion, creativity, and insights rooted in a shared experience.

What they too often lack is access to financial resources that can breathe even more life into their ideas. TOMS has always been regarded as a model of a socially conscious company and a pioneer of the one-to-one model. Later, Warby Parker (a popular American eyewear e-commerce brand) followed suit.

They closely integrate content strategies (such as social media and blogs) with the company’s mission: emphasizing the importance of poverty eradication and philanthropy. Take a moment to browse the TOMS website, you will surely get a lot of information about the company’s responsibilities.

Patagonia (top outdoor luxury brand)

Official website:

Mission marketing
Patagonia website

Although the information that the Patagonia website conveys to customers at first glance is not as direct as the TOMS website, the company’s mission can be understood at a glance: environmental protection and green manufacturing.

In the “In-depth understanding of Patagonia (Inside Patagonia)” section, customers can learn about many charitable activities and organizations advocated by the company, including voting for the environment (Vote the Environment), consensus (Common Threads), footprint recording (footprint editing) History) and the Sustainable Apparel Alliance.

Patagonia is also a leader in social undertakings, and even registered as a welfare company (Benefits Corporation, a form of American company, refers to a for-profit company that focuses on social welfare undertakings).

Similar to TOMS, most of the content of Patagonia’s website emphasizes the social behavior or lifestyle embodied in its products. The #Find_Away event is a good example.

Focus on the product or the mission?

Generally speaking, it seems that some companies are easier to locate and are naturally suitable for product marketing or mission marketing. Product marketing is suitable for companies that sell price-oriented products or companies with more product lines, while mission marketing is more suitable for companies with monopolistic brands or single product lines.

Below I will enumerate the factors that can be referred to when judging the marketing method suitable for the company:


Assuming that product marketing pays more attention to data (quantification), such as product sales, price discounts, etc., the company’s financial impact is relatively easy to measure. Information about price discounts can directly affect New Year’s income.

In addition, methods such as A/B testing can also be used to measure the impact of different promotional activities on consumer behavior. What about mission marketing? The extent to which a company’s revenue is affected by the company’s mission is more difficult to measure.

The information conveyed by such companies on the website must be consistent, so it cannot be tested immediately after the promotion, otherwise consumers may doubt the authenticity of the information. No one would believe in a company that changes its philosophy frequently.


Mission marketing heralds good use of consumer trends, such as starting to sell organic and green local products. However, similar to the last point of “testability“, you should pay attention to mission marketing and don’t blindly change the trend you follow, because it is easy to lose trust.

Product marketing has a certain degree of flexibility to economic trends. If consumers’ shopping patterns change, companies can boldly change certain products accordingly (for example, based on seasonality, product popularity, etc.).


In terms of recognition, product marketing may be more difficult to apply because any other company may offer similar price discounts. Focusing on a larger mission allows the company to tell a unique story, and it will not be easily imitated by competitors. If you meet the right consumers, you may be virally marketed inadvertently.

Finally, the question that every company needs to think about is how to position itself and the focus of delivering information to consumers. Of course, things are not as simple as black and white, companies can also combine the two marketing methods. The key is to always stay the same and don’t let you gain trust.

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