Build your brand's mission into your business (why? millennials)

Investing in your business and your mission means thinking through how you can give back to the people around you. You don't have to build in gratitude, but you can give back in other ways.

I listened to Tara Gentile's podcast (Episode 91 – Making Your Business A Force For Good with The FruitGuys Founder ) this past week which covered The Fruit Guys, a growing B2B fruit delivery company. CEO Chris Mittelstaedt spoke about the growth he's seen in his business, periods of growth, and how he handled missteps from the economy.

One message came through during the podcast:

You shouldn’t wait to decide the meaning you want to pursue in your business. Should be thinking about the meaning all of the time.
— Chris Mittelstaedt, CEO of The Fruit Guys

He began by investing in his missions to give back. They became part of his business model and were a natural extension of his business. The one-for-one model of giving isn't new, but Chris found a new way to incorporate his mission into The Fruit Guys.

While growing his business, he found a natural way to incorporate giving back into what his business already does: sourcing and providing fruit. Over the course of growing, when he found a need that his business could fill he built that capability into his operations.

He began two nonprofit programs that benefit their vendors and another for people in need. All fruit that don't meet their stringent standards gets donated (rather than sold) and they help their fruit suppliers with grants to have a positive impact on the environment.

Purpose-driven businesses are thriving

Giving back and fulfilling a mission fueled by business capital isn't new, but it is growing in popularity with consumers. It also reinforces company values internally as well as toward potential consumers.

  • "Purpose-driven organizations are more successful." - Forbes
  • "Fifty-five percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact, according to a new study by Nielsen." - Nielsen
  • "47 percent of global consumers buy brands that support a good cause at least monthly, a 47 percent increase in just two years." - Edelman

Newer brands like Warby Parker and Tom's have built themselves with their missions as well. Warby Parker gives back, so does Tom's with their "for every pair you buy, they give a pair to someone in need."  With purpose-driven businesses growing and expanding, that growth can continue as millennials grow in buying power.

Millenial buying power could accelerate this growth

As the millennial cohort grows (they are the biggest generation than US history - even bigger than baby boomers), it spells good fortune for brands that focus on serving the community and not just profits.

Almost 50% of millennials would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause.
— Millennial Marketing

These purpose-driven businesses create meaning for their employees, people affected by their services, and businesses around them. And they're well positioned for the next generation of buyers.