Mission-driven brands have become more and more prominent in recent years as businesses of all sizes strive to make a positive social impact and make the world a better place.

This shift towards mission-driven from conventional brand building is incredibly beneficial for companies and essential for those who want to become the brands of tomorrow and remain in business for years to come. It is also incredibly beneficial to the wider world, society and the well-being of all of us.

What is a mission-driven brand?

Mission-driven brands are businesses that want to make the world a better place. They try to make positive changes in the world and people's lives with their products and services.

Here are the key characteristics of a mission-driven brand:

(01 Purpose)

A clear and meaningful mission statement that outlines the brand's values, goals, and the positive impact it aims to make in the world. The purpose is typically aligned with a broader social or environmental cause.

(02 Values and Principles)

The brand operates based on a set of values and principles that reflect its mission and guide its actions. These values prioritise sustainability, social responsibility, ethical practices, and inclusivity.

(03 Authenticity)

A mission-driven brand is authentic in its commitment to its purpose. It genuinely believes in and demonstrates its dedication to making a positive impact rather than using it as a marketing tactic or trend.

(04 Stakeholder Engagement)

Mission-driven brands actively engage with their stakeholders including employees, customers, communities, and partners. They seek to create a sense of shared purpose and involve stakeholders in their initiatives and decision-making processes.

(05 Transparency and Accountability)

These brands are transparent about their actions, impact, and progress towards their mission. They hold themselves accountable for their commitments and strive for continuous improvement.

(06 Impact Focus)

Mission-driven brands measure their success not only by financial metrics but also by the positive social or environmental outcomes they achieve. They set specific goals and metrics to track their impact and regularly report on their progress.

Why a business should become
a mission-driven brand

Recent research has made it increasingly evident that companies that embrace a mission-driven approach to their business are more successful and able to drive greater returns on investment compared to those without a mission.

As such, businesses of all sizes should consider becoming a mission-driven brand in order to remain competitive and ensure sustained growth.

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, mission-driven companies are 6 times more likely to be innovative and attract top talent compared to their competitors without a mission.

Recent research by PwC found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers around the world believe businesses should take on greater responsibility for addressing social and environmental issues, while 57% said they would be willing to pay extra for products from organisations with strong ethical values.

A 2017 Gallup poll also revealed that employees who understand and can personally relate to their organisation's purpose have higher engagement levels than those who cannot connect with it on an emotional level.

Great examples of purpose-driven brands.

Tom’s Shoes has committed to donating a pair of shoes for every shoe purchased and, in doing so, has built a passionate customer base. This commitment to its social mission has helped the company increase sales by more than 50% over the past five years.

Patagonia is an excellent example of a mission-driven business that has leveraged its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility to great success.The company’s ‘1% for the Planet’ initiative, which sees it donate 1% of total sales to environmental non-profits, has helped increase brand awareness and loyalty while driving sales growth.

As a result of its commitment to sustainability, the company has experienced double-digit revenue growth every year since 2010 and now employs over 1,000 people around the world.

Tony’s Chocolonely is a mission-driven business that has experienced immense success since its launch in 2005.The Dutch chocolate company has become a leader in ethical chocolate production, driving real change in the cocoa industry by tackling slave labour and advocating for fairer wages for farmers.By building a strong connection with their customers through their mission, Tony’s Chocolonely has grown into one of the largest chocolate businesses in Europe.

One example of a small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) in the UK that has become a successful mission-driven brand is Lush. Established in 1995, Lush is an ethical cosmetics company with a strong commitment to animal welfare and environmental sustainability.

The company has implemented numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, such as encouraging customers to reuse packaging and adopting regenerative agriculture methods.In addition, Lush has used its platform to engage in social issues, from pressing environmental causes to supporting human rights initiatives. These actions have earned Lush the loyalty of its customers and contributed significantly to its business growth.

Other benefits of becoming a mission-driven brand

01 Save the world
and improve lives.

In today's world, we are facing several global challenges. From climate change and biodiversity loss to social inequality and poverty, there is a great need for businesses to take on a mission-driven approach to help create positive change.

By creating products and services that address these issues and help raise awareness of all the challenges we face, companies can help empower those overlooked or ignored by traditional businesses.

This action could trigger more open discussion, mutual understanding, big-scale action in public and even policy change in our society that will benefit more people and our environment.

By embracing the role that businesses can play to drive positive change, they can also boost their economic growth and performance.

02 Drive stronger sales performance
and staff morale long-term.

Mission-driven brands not only help build brand loyalty and trust; they also create long-term value through positive word of mouth by driving emotional connection with people and building relationships with them on a more personal level. This increases customer retention rates and enhances reputation among stakeholders and higher profit margins.People want to support businesses that share their values and they are willing to invest in these companies for the long term.

On the other hand, the staff of your team are more likely to be loyal and engage with a brand with a mission. It fosters a sense of purpose and belonging in the workplace, leading to improved morale and higher productivity.

03 Stand out in the competition.

The mission-driven brand has strong brand equity and a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage. It provides brands with an opportunity for businesses to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace by communicating their deeper values and commitment to making a positive impact beyond their service and product that is deeply rooted in the core of how the business is run and developed.

How to Become a mission-driven brand

01 Establish a clear mission statement that reflects the company's values, goals, and impact. This should be reinforced across all marketing communications and should drive decision-making within the organisation.

02 Develop an engaging culture that motivates employees to work towards the brand's mission and provides them with opportunities to express their unique perspectives.

03. Leverage technology to track progress, measure impact, and collect customer feedback that can be used to refine initiatives and create meaningful experiences for customers.

04. Focus on openly communicating the brand's mission and purpose with customers to build trust and loyalty.

05. Demonstrate a commitment to making a positive impact in the world

06. Educate customers on the brand's mission, purpose, and core values to build trust and ensure they are in alignment with customer beliefs and ideals.

07. Develop partnerships with like-minded organisations that share the same goals and objectives as the brand.

08. Create sustainable initiatives that positively impact society and the environment.

End Note

By investing in initiatives aligned with their values and purpose, companies can create positive change and foster trust among customers and employees alike. With this approach, businesses can achieve economic and social success – making it an essential strategy for any company looking to prosper today and tomorrow.

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