We’ve written a lot about our B Corp certification, and we are happy to see that companies in all sectors of the economy are beginning to care more about having purpose behind their business, rather than simply maximizing profits for owners and shareholders.
In fact, one of the biggest trends in retail in the past 15 years has been consumers wanting to know more about the people behind the products they buy: how are the workers treated, what is the company culture like, who benefits when the company does well, do they give back to the community in some way? Torrey Kim’s article speaks to the marketing and profit benefits of having a brand with a social conscience and a mission that consumers can relate to.
“Customers, especially millennials, want to know a company is doing something good with their money and making a difference in the world. It also makes employees feel better about the company, which enhances performance.” – Gwendolyn Wright, The Wright Consultants
However, a social mission cannot necessarily be ‘created’ or used simply as part of a marketing campaign. Consumers are wary of un-authentic ‘mission driven’ companies. A more apt term I think would be to ‘dig up’ your mission – what is the dream that you try to fullfill through your business? What lasting impact do you hope to have on the world, or at least your community?
Perhaps even more interesting is the reflection can be built into how they operate, rather than the goods or services they are selling. The example used in the article is Aspen Lane Wine Company that lets buyers choose a charity every time they make a purchase. Their social mission is built into how they operate.
So while social resposibility and articulation of a mission will often ‘increase the value of the brand in the eye of customers’ it must also be an authentic and long term goal in order to resonate with consumers.