Susie Bayes is the brand partnerships director at Guardian News & Media. A recipient of the Future Makers’ Fellowship, Susie drives businesses to create the positive change that consumers demand.
Brands with missions to improve people’s lives have outperformed the stock market by 206% in the last decade. Companies must adopt a purpose-driven model to thrive in the 21st century.
HOW TO: Reorganize your company around a set of meaningful and trustworthy values
1. Find a social purpose that aligns with your product and share it with consumers in a “non-salesy” way
In our hyper-information age, the truth is paramount. If your company isn’t authentic you will be found out, and if you aren’t purpose-driven you will be forgotten.
TOMS Shoes demonstrates their purpose in a simple 3-minute video. Try not to cry →
2. Embrace the change by creating a mission statement that reflects your new purpose
Shifting focus isn’t bad; in fact, 90% of successful businesses thrive in a different area than they originally started out in.
Craft the perfect mission statement with this Top Nonprofits worksheet →
For additional brainstorming, organize your data into one of these templates to pull out your company’s natural strengths/weaknesses →
3. Hire employees based on shared values and seek out like-minded business partners
Purpose leads to profit. Everyone at The Guardian is aligned around the same mission, to the point that they turn down advertisers who go against the ideals they represent.
Keep tabs on employee engagement with this anonymous, emotion-reading Slack add-on →
4. Expand your pricing options so that users can choose to pay more for a good cause
The Guardian is a free publication, but they began asking for donations and striking up philanthropic partnerships to support coverage of certain topics. If your customers believe in your mission, they may want to pay extra to support it.
Here’s an example of a forward-thinking business implementing this tactic →
Browse this list to find potential partners interested in supporting your mission →
5. Get buy-in from leadership to focus on a long-term approach vs. short-term wins
“It takes 20 years to build a brand and 5 minutes to ruin it.” - Warren Buffett. The Guardian is owned by a mission-first trust, which is absolutely key to their success.
Set long-term goals and track your progress →