Picture yourself standing in the coffee aisle at the grocery store. You’ve narrowed your search for the perfect coffee down to two products. The first coffee is a well-known brand. The familiar logo instantly catches your attention. The second coffee is more expensive and does not have traditional coffee packaging. Its unfamiliar packaging draws you in. After looking at the product a little longer, you learn that it was created using eco-friendly practices and is traded fairly through direct relationships.
You continue reading and learn the story of a farmer living in central Africa. The farmer explains how the coffee company has increased his quality of life by providing fair compensation for his coffee beans. Not only do his eight and ten-year-old sons no longer have to work in the field, but he can now afford to send them to school.
The 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report showed that “66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand.” Millennials even expect “their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship” (Nielsen, 2015). The truth is, people want to do good. They may not have enough time to volunteer or have hundreds of dollars to donate to charities, but paying an extra dollar at the grocery store allows consumers a small part in changing the world.
You Don’t Need to be a Social Enterprise to Make a Difference
We recently created a social cause for one of our clients, Wild Leap Brew Co. The “Wild for Water Filters,” campaign encouraged customers to order water filters and have them sent to the brewery. The brewery then sent those filters to Puerto Rico to be used by individuals affected by recent hurricanes. The campaign had a huge response. Not only did it meet an immediate need, but it increased awareness for the company. Social enterprises combine the non-profit business model with the traditional business model to create a business with a double bottom line: helping others and making money. While this company is not a social enterprise, it was still possible to incorporate a social cause.
How amazing is it that being successful as a business, and doing good can now go hand in hand? Open your eyes to the possibilities. Look for opportunities for your clients to do good and make a difference. Not only will it benefit others and the world around you, but it might also be what gets people talking about the brand.