Ever thought about why you started your business? In other words, what’s your business purpose? Your “why?” There are many reasons why someone would start a new business, and many business owners haven’t really spent time thinking about why they started their business in the first place. (It’s ok if that’s you – we won’t tell anyone)
Maybe you are really good at a particular skill like graphic design, coding, or you’re a great seamstress. Everyone told you that you just HAD to go into business, and rather than moonlight on projects at the end of a busy day, you went all in and hung out your shingle.
Or, maybe you started your business because you saw a need in the marketplace for something and decided you could fill it. A lot of great businesses are born this way. You realized something was missing and you couldn’t rest until you were the missing piece of the puzzle. Innovation was the name of your game, and you’re changing the world, one widget at a time.
Or, sometimes people start businesses as a way to give back to a cause they care about. Today we’re going to focus on these companies for a cause and talk about why someone may start this type of business, and how it works in their marketing.
Business with a social mission is, well, big business! Many people feel good when they buy from a brand that helps others. This of course adds to the brand’s bottom line, so it’s a win-win. And we love those!
Millennials love socially minded brands
Love em or not, if you market to millennials you’ll want to pay attention this!
Millennials not only prefer businesses with a social good component, it’s a big part of their decision making when it comes to purchasing. Consider this – millennials make up about 30% of the population and spend on average $200 billion yearly (that’s a lot of dough!). You don’t want to forget about them when you’re trying to get a piece of the marketplace pie.
So, just how many of them consider a cause worthy of their hard earned dollars? About 68% of millennials state that a social or environmental cause would be important when deciding what to buy. That’s a pretty good indicator that if you’ve got a cause, you can use it to your marketing advantage (and rake in some millennial moola)!
Of course, it should go without saying that if you’re going to join the ranks of companies for a cause, you’ll need to actually care about that cause, right? It’s the shared cause that matters to the millennial – not just a random afterthought tacked on at the end of a busy marketing calendar. (We know you’d never do anything like that, this warning is for the other guys…)
What brands are rocking a cause right now?
There are tons of businesses that give back to great causes, but here are a few that we think are doing a great job.
- TOMS gives shoes to people in need. Whenever someone buys a pair of TOMS, someone in need gets a pair of shoes. It’s a simple business model that gets them big results!
- Stella Artois beer partnered with Water.org and Matt Damon to bring clean water to those in the developing world.
- Sudara gives back by providing living-wage jobs, skills training, and education to those who were previously stuck in human trafficking.
Your Why Matters
In the end, whether you choose to be a business with a cause or not, there’s one takeaway we’d like to leave you with that works for any type of business – Why you started your business matters!
If you haven’t really thought through the why you started your business, now’s the time to get on that! As Simon Sinek has famously said, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” In his book Start With Why, Sinek goes into details on why your why matters (try saying that 5 times fast!) We’d recommend you check it out. Or, you can check out this shortened version of his TED Talk if you’re too busy saving the world to read an entire book.
Zonion gives back
Here at Zonion, we’re excited to start our next chapter with a company for a cause – our very own Elephant. Elephant is a way that we help other businesses market to their local audience, while also giving back to a cause we care about – elephants of course.
When you buy advertising through Elephant, we give 5% of proceeds to help banish cruelty to these gentle giants and let them live in peace. We think it’s pretty awesome, and we’d love to tell you more about it. Ready to find out how you can join our cause and give back to elephants while also growing your biz?