In today’s social climate, a purpose-driven brand outshines others. Millennials and Gen Z now make up a large portion of consumers and they prefer to connect with (and buy from) businesses who have a clear sense of who they are, what they wish to accomplish, and why they do what they do – impact.
As a purpose-driven brand, you have a clear vision of the change you want to create in the world and are using your brand as a vessel to make a positive impact.
If you’re looking for ways to share how your purpose-driven brand or business is making an impact in your communities, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ways that small businesses can use their platform for good.
Let’s dig in!
What is a purpose-driven brand?
The term “purpose-driven brand” (also known as “mission-driven brand” or business) refers to a brand that has deeply incorporated a set of beliefs and values into everything that they do: from the company culture to the way they market themselves, the causes they support, and more.
These values usually go beyond the so-called “traditional” business-centered ideals to include more socially-oriented principles and convictions.
To give you an example of some of these values, over at The Quirky Pineapple Studio, we’re firm believers in:
- Black Lives Matter
- Anti-racism work is a lifelong journey
- Intersectional feminism FTW – if it’s not intersectional, it’s not feminism
- No human is illegal
- Equal rights for Queer, LGBTQIA+, & non-gender binary folx
- Accessibility for ALL
- Honoring & giving back the Indigenous lands we live on
- Community care & protection instead of authoritative action
- Sustainability and co-creation
Examples of more purpose-driven brands
In order to help you visualize it a little better, let’s take a closer look at some of the big names out there who have cemented their status as purpose-driven brands and are working to meet a series of ongoing efforts that have been ingrained into their DNA.
01. Patagonia: The outdoor clothing company is well-known for its environmentally-conscious approach to production and commitment to protecting and saving “our home planet”. It’s a part of everything they do: from their marketing efforts to their manufacturing procedures, communications, and more.
02. Ben & Jerry’s: Funny as it may sound, the ice cream company has made a name for itself by participating in rallies and protests in support of racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, climate justice, and more. According to the brand, “[we] believe that business has a responsibility and a unique opportunity to be a powerful lever of change in the world. We can use traditional and contemporary business tools to drive systemic progressive social change[…]”.
03. Bombas: Founded in 2013, the (ULTRA COMFY!) sock company has donated more than 50 million pairs of socks to homeless shelters in the United States with their buy-one-give-one model. They’re also deeply committed to standing in support of BLM, the LGBTQ+ community, and ending homelessness bias.
04. Cotopaxi: On a mission to create a positive impact in the world, the outdoor gear brand combines its love for travel with a passion for global change by donating a percentage of its revenue to different nonprofits in Latin America. This, in an effort to “improve the human condition.”
4 ways to share your impact as a purpose-driven brand
As a purpose-driven brand, there are tons of different ways that you can show up and share your values and beliefs alongside your community.
This is especially important in moments of deep social and political unrest.
As a purpose-driven brand, you already know that staying silent and ignoring a situation isn’t part of your ethos. The more you share about the change you’re doing – on a systemic and community level – maybe even an individual level, the more you’re able to create larger social change and inspire your community to do the same.
Here are four ways to share and get your community involved:
Creating a donation campaign AND donating to the cause
The first thing you can do is put your money where your mouth is and DONATE! The second thing you can do to get your community involved is to create a donation campaign around something you are already donating to.
For example, donation campaigns can be centered around:
- A collaboration you have with a non-profit organization
- Social awareness days (ie: Earth Day campaigns, if you’re a sustainability brand)
If you’re already donating a part of your monthly revenue, a one-time amount, or giving a percentage of proceeds from a product/service sale, you can invite your community to do the same with you!
In doing this, you’re inviting your audience/clients to “do good” on their part, as well, and a community effort always makes a larger difference than one person alone!
PRO TIP: Be clear with your audience/clients about where the money is going! Create a space to have an open discussion with them about why you’ve chosen to partner with a certain charity/organization.
Open up your platform
Pssst…here’s a lil’ secret: you don’t know it all 🤐
Hey, we can’t all be experts!
No matter how hard you try, there will always be things that you won’t know how to tackle – and that’s totally OK. Wanna know why? Because some else will!
That’s why coming up second on our list of things you can do as a purpose-driven brand to generate (and share) impact: open up your platform to other voices.
Whether you’re resharing information, reposting important resources, or inviting folx to show up LIVE on your platform to discuss the issues you support, opening up a space for voices – especially those that come from marginalized backgrounds – is a powerful way to help generate impact within your community through education.
Also – passing the mic and amplifying other voices is one way to not only share your impact but to expand your community.
Share resources EVERYWHERE!
We briefly mentioned this above, but it’s important to highlight the power that this holds…
Whether it’s on your website, on your social media, via your newsletter, etc., making sure that your audience has easy access to important information that relates directly to your cause (or a cause you support) helps create accessibility and transparency for the people supporting your brand.
For example, if you’re passionate about voting rights, providing useful links to where people can register to vote, important dates (like elections and registration deadlines), and any other details you can think of is a useful way to help your community stay on top of things.
This can be applied to ANY cause you and your brand believe in!
Knowledge is power, after all. And creating a space for knowledge somewhere on your platform will hand the power back to your community.
PRO TIP: Combining this strategy with a donation campaign is a great way to create buzz and share your impact, alongside, deepening the relationship with your community and positioning yourself as a “go-to” in the industry.
Make it a hybrid effort (online & offline)
While a lot of this can happen online – and rightly so, as a global business – there are definitely ways to create and share impact in a hybrid setting.
By going hybrid (online and offline), you’re creating a more accessible way for your community to get involved that feels comfortable and is supportive of what they’re also looking for in a brand. Basically, you get to show them that you’re more than just in it for the “woke credit” that a lot of brands have started adopting (greenwashing, anyone?).
What are a few ways to take things from the internet to the real world? Here are a few places to start:
- Speak to your representatives and government officials
- Go out and VOTE for candidates and policies you believe in
- Visit conferences and other informative lectures to continue to educate yourself
When it comes to creating impact, there’s power in numbers and the community. Likes might not seem like a lot, but when all those likes start to show up taking action…that’s when the revolution starts.
Just take it from Ben & Jerry 😉
TL;DR: how purpose-driven brands can enact change for the greater good
At the end of the day, purpose-driven brands are all about living out their truth as genuinely as possible.
Yes, profits matter to them. Of course, they do – they’re still a business after all! But they’re not willing to sacrifice their beliefs and values for the sake of making a dime. And that’s what helps them stand out from other brands.
When it comes to creating and sharing impact, here are four ways that purpose-driven brands and businesses can get the ball rolling:
01. Create a donation campaign and donate to the cause
02. Open up your platform
03. Share resources EVERYWHERE!
04. Make it a hybrid effort (online and offline)
Just one of these is a great place to start! No need to rush the process, everything will happen in due time!
Are you a purpose-driven brand or business? How do you work towards making sure your mission and vision align? Let us know in the comments!
Enjoyed this post? You might like these, too:
3 Ways to Add Feminism and Cultural Competence to Your Small Business Marketing Strategy
The Beginner’s Guide to Curating an Instagram Feed
Social Media Marketing Through a Feminist Lens
6 Engaging Writing Tips to Boost Your Content