How Bigger Vision Can Infuse Your Brand with Meaning
Eric Friedman wrote a piece for The Huffington Post recently called What I Really Want for My Birthday, and Why You Might Want the Same Thing. He alludes to the idea of giving instead of receiving on your birthday, and then he points to recent research that shows what happens when our life is about giving rather than taking:
…there is a trend consistent throughout the research on happiness: helping others makes people happier. As an example of such a study, the Gallup World Poll surveyed 200,000 people in 136 countries about a variety of topics, including charitable giving, and found that charitable giving is consistently correlated with higher levels of happiness. Giving has about the same impact on happiness as doubling household income in much of the studied group, even in impoverished countries.
Adding Meaning to Your Brand: The Warby Parker Case
By hitching your brand onto something bigger, besides finding more satisfaction in your work, you’re more likely to add an emotional component to your brand’s overall identity.
Warby Parker is a perfect example. According to a recent piece by Hamish Campbell from Entrepreneur.com:
The founders of New York City–based Warby Parker aimed to provide consumers with stylish, affordable eyewear that is also mission-driven. For every pair of glasses Warby Parker sells, it makes a donation that enables optical training in developing countries. Aside from the disruptive stance of challenging a long-stagnant category, the social-impact dimension of the business model was a novel approach that set an example for many companies to follow.
As Campbell says, when you firmly implant your brand in something meaningful and larger than the company or the product, as Warby Parker did, that meaning transfers to your customers. This changes the purchasing experience into something very powerful—something bigger than your product, bigger than you, and bigger than the customer.
Nicole Fallon, the assistant editor for Business News Daily, agrees:
In the modern business world, providing a great product and shopping experience will only get you so far. If you really want your customers to keep coming back, you need to let them know that their dollars will be doing some good… companies that incorporate social responsibility into their business model prove that a dedication to these initiatives goes a long way, both for the cause and their reputation.
Attracting Millennials: Another Reason Why Causes Are a Good Idea
And if you are targeting millennials in your marketing or if you’re looking to recruit millennials as employees, having a cause tied to your brand will give you leverage. Although a stereotype of narcissism surrounds millennials, in truth they are often very others-focused, as this article from Pulse at LinkedIn confirms:
According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, which surveyed more than 1,500 employed millennials, 87 percent had donated money toward a nonprofit in the last year, with the majority of that percentage giving more than $100. Considering that Millennials have been living in the worst economic climate since the Great Depression and many are struggling to pay back student loans, this fact seems quite remarkable.
Read more on this topic by checking out “How to Attract More Customers by Featuring Sustainability & Social Responsibility.”