Have you ever heard the term purpose-driven business? If you haven’t, it’s a business whose aim is to help find solutions for people and/or the planet.
There are many businesses now that deem they’re purpose-driven, but where the lines become blurred is when a business or brand doesn’t clearly define what its purpose is. Is it enough to say, “I’m a purpose-driven business,” or “I help purpose-driven businesses?” Probably not.
With “purposes” ranging in the thousands, being specific about causes your brand and business support is going to help you make the impact you’re looking for.
While oftentimes people become entrepreneurs and business owners to escape the corporate world, there are many who also become entrepreneurs to advocate for a cause.
The impact of social activism in business and brand building
Did you know that 58% of consumers say a brand’s social activism impacts their impression of a brand – including whether they choose to buy? (Jungle Scout)
Not only this, but 43% of consumers view brands more positively when they take a leading or active role in support of a social cause.
The above statistics are from 2021, and it could be argued if a similar report was done, the number would be even higher today. Since the pandemic, consumers are paying closer attention to where their money is going, what it’s supporting, and who it benefits. On top of this, they’re also craving meaningful connections beyond transactions.
The great thing about the changes in consumer buying behavior is the ability to touch people with your mission, vision, and values.
How this can help small businesses owners
This surge in conscious consumerism means it’s no longer just about the product. It’s about the purpose behind the brand. With so many brands and businesses that sell similar products and services, emphasizing the importance of a social cause could be the difference between someone buying from you or someone else.
Okay, so you might be thinking, “Well, isn’t this just a marketing tactic?”
While there may be some businesses and brands who participate in support of causes for the sake of doing it, it doesn’t mean their campaigns or hearts are truly in the right place. More often than not, it’s not hard to determine businesses that aren’t genuinely invested in the mission they support.
On top of being able to advocate for a social cause, small businesses are at an advantage coming out of a pandemic for the reason of consumers wanting to shop small in support of their local businesses. Now more than ever is the time to shout your brand’s purpose from the rooftops because people are listening.
Real-life examples: MyPath 101
While your business can advocate for an already-created cause or foundation, you can also create your own. That’s the case for MyPath 101, a self-awareness guide and personal branding training to help students make the most of their education– in college and beyond.
As a parent, this cause is absolutely important to drive forward, and my business at brandiD allows me the opportunity to support this mission. MyPath 101 holds the same values of empathy and authenticity as brandiD. We’re passionate about helping our clients unearth their true essence and amplifying the magic in themselves, so they can grow businesses and brands they love.
The same goes for the students, parents, and educators we work with. We want to empower them and offer guidance and support on their academic journey that’ll lead them to a brighter future.
How to create a social activism plan
If you’ve read this and are thinking about implementing this into your business, then here are a few things to point you in the right direction.
Step 1: Find a cause you’re passionate about
There is a foundation for just about any cause, so if you don’t have the capacity to create your own, that’s okay. Create a list of causes that are important to you and start filtering through one or two that mean the most.
Here are a few ideas:
- Accessible healthcare
- Planting trees
- Child education
- Adult Education
Step 2: Generate traction
Let’s say you want to support the Red Cross and their mission is something that resonates with you. How can you advocate on their behalf and drive incentives for people to work with you?
- Donate a percentage of every product or service (Ex: For every product sold, I will donate 1% of proceeds to the Red Cross)
- Create content in support of the cause (Ex: Use your voice on social media, podcasts, or email to generate traction.)
Step 3: Follow through
The great thing about being an advocate for change is how simple it is. Once you find a cause and generate traction, the last thing there is to do is follow through. The funds you’ve raised now can be donated to a cause.
Once you do this, share it with your audience. Create excitement around what you and your community have been able to do together. Not only will this benefit the cause, but make the consumer feel their money went to something worthwhile. This could also be a key component in retention.
Whether you’ve thought about implementing a social change strategy or not, there’s no denying the potential impact. The path to effecting change through your business is clear… Embrace your purpose, align your values, and amplify your impact.
About The Author
Rachel Gogos is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a strong desire to help people by creating strong personal brands and businesses. She’s personally launched dozens of books, e-products, and services; and hundreds of products and services with her clients. She started her career at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, where she helped create the look and feel for the organization’s first website.
Today, in her current role running brandiD, Rachel channels over 15 years of marketing and communications experience into each and every website for brandiD’s clients.
And check out her book, Build Your Brand: The Distinctive Guide to Soul-Based Marketing. It will help you uncover your personal brand.