“You can’t do good in business today, with out ‘doing good’ in your business”. That came from a social entrepreneurship proposal years ago however I find myself returning to it frequently.
This is the secret to evolving from a ‘Core Brand’ to a ‘Soul Brand’ (see post on the 3 principles of a Core Brand) . “Soul Brand” is the next level and it means you have a soul, a purpose, a higher order, a good you are creating in the world.
We’ve long heard of the soul-less corporate organization with their only goal to make money (see Milton Friedmen 1970). Capitalism to the marrow but that is proving to have a cancerous outcome today.
The first to succumb will be your internal brand, specifically the team that is supposed to be motivated by this mission, they will wither. You’ll see it in engagement, you’ll see it in productivity, you’ll see it in turn over.
Shortly there after your external brand will face the same challenges. Your customers will discover that they get ‘greater value’ in all aspects of that word, when they work with another organization that shares their outlook, values, goals, etc.. They will be motivated to do business with organizations that have a purpose beyond making money. Even if it costs them more!
The cure is having a soul! A purpose, a mission, a big hairy audacious goal (to quote some boardroom speak of a few years ago). Dig deep to discover what is the good you are creating through your business. When done genuinely, authentically, not as a corporate flavour of the week, and watch your internal team dig deep to deliver with commitment, creativity and passion. Then watch your customers, old and new, get excited about your business, and how your mission impacts the bottom line and the other lines you should be measuring (social impact, environmental protection, team engagement, etc.).