If you’re a purpose led business already, you probably have a pretty good understanding of what being purpose led means, and how it can help business growth.
If you’re not a purpose led business, or you’re not familiar with the term, let me explain to you what it means, and why in today’s business market, it’s so important.
What Does it Mean to Be a Purpose Led Business?
Being a “purpose led business” is a bit of a ‘buzzphrase’ these days. But just because the term is buzzy, doesn’t mean it’s just a trend or a fad. On the contrary. These days, markets are changing – consumers’ buying patterns are shifting as Millennials mature and Generation Zed follows on their heels.
These younger buyers flooding the marketplace are forcing companies to take a hard look at their corporate culture. Because the next generations have very different demands when it comes to brand loyalty and where they will spend their hard-earned cash.
Basically, being a purpose led business means being an organization that isn’t afraid to stand up and stand out. Today’s consumer wants to support businesses and brands who reflect the issues they care most about.
Success is No Longer Only About the Almighty Dollar
Statistics strongly bear out how important this new way of thinking is for today’s buyers, and the impact it can have on today’s businesses.
According to a recent study by corporate services firm Accenture, “…more than half of Canadian consumers — 55 percent — prefer to buy brands that reflect their personal values and beliefs and are staying away from brands that don’t. An equal percentage of American respondents felt the same way.” That’s a lot of lost dollars for brands who don’t step up.
The only place you might want to tread lightly when it comes to reflecting the current public climate is in the case of politics. In fact, almost 30 percent of Canadians surveyed in the above study felt brands should avoid political engagement.
Being a Purpose Led Business Should Feel Authentic
Today’s social media and tech savvy consumers can smell inauthenticity a mile away, so the worst thing you can do is attempt to “jump on the caring bandwagon.” Seriously, if it’s not something you feel comfortable getting behind, not doing so at all will serve you better than attempting to fake it.
It doesn’t have to be a huge complicated culture shift, and it doesn’t require the financial clout of a “Salesforce” or “Patagonia” sized organization (both companies that do great philanthropic work!) Even a small business can cost-effectively throw their brand behind a cause it believes in.
Here at Spodek & Co., for example, our team members all support individual charities, and as a company, we’re involved each year with The Shoebox Project. We shop for and fill up boxes with toiletries, cosmetics, warm socks and other goodies so that holidays will be a bit more joyful for women going through rough times – a small but impactful gesture.
If you don’t already, try to encourage a company, and a corporate culture, that wants to give back. Provide incentives for employees who want to raise money for charity, or allow them one paid day off a month to volunteer.
Don’t be afraid to go public about the causes and/or values you feel strongly about. Be humble about it and whatever you do don’t fake it. Use social media platforms or blog posts to get the word out in a way that encourages others to follow along.
There’s no question that becoming a purpose led business won’t hurt your bottom line. But it’s not as crass as that. In the long run you and your teams will be helping people. And doing good deeds can sure make a person feel good at the end of the day.
What do you think? Does your company or brand throw their weight behind a cause or charity? If not, have you considered becoming a purpose led business? I would love to know your thoughts!