We are at that inflection point where the future of the planet is at stake – mindful business must now wear its purpose proudly on its sleeve.
As consumers grow increasingly aware of the importance of a purpose-led and mindful business ecosystem, brands must examine their role in the context of both people and planet. It has become abundantly clear that marketers must now scrutinise the way they conduct business, build sustainability into their culture and turn their brands into champions of change. What cause does your brand fight for? What world does it dream of?
Carve the vision, carry the mission
It all begins with a vision that percolates to every arm of the organisation. Purpose must now be melded into the corporate mission and allowed to permeate through the professional environment. It must go beyond PR and platitudes to policies and performance indicators. Mindful business practices can shape the way human resources are handled, sales and marketing ethics are formulated, administration and logistics are managed, shopfloor and retail outlets are run. Internal and external messaging and mandates are vital to make it a genuine and effective way to do business for good.
Reprioritise people, recalibrate processes
A people-first ethic must start the purpose journey. Equality, diversity, inclusion and fairness must define the corporate philosophy. Now, more than ever before, every aspect of the supply chain must be carefully thought through. Every ingredient, every raw material, every process must be scanned. When manufacturing is at scale, the impact and footprint are massive too. Purpose must become a criterion of organisational success. It must be an important metric of profitability.
Reexamine the product, rethink the packaging
Fairtrade practices, sustainability parameters, eco-conscious manufacturing and responsible sourcing must all lead to a product that’s safe and least detrimental to the planet. Equally, packaging materials must be chosen with an eye to recycle or upcycle with non-biodegradable materials kept out of the equation. Modern-day buyers are aware consumers and appreciate efforts to find eco-friendly answers to pressing issues. Millennials are among the most vociferous champions and their franchise helps brands achieve their purpose goals.
Set high standards, take bold stances
It really comes down to setting standards and pledging to live by them. It also comes down to taking stances for what’s right and against what is not. Whether it is clients, collaborators, co-creators or commercial partners, this guideline must be inviolate and unwavering. Purpose thrives on the strength of belief and staunchness of commitment. It is not an add-on or an afterthought. It must inform decision-making at all levels.
The amazing truth is that purpose by no means diminishes profitability or slows down trajectory. In fact, it is quite the opposite. When business is conducted responsibly it often leads to increased affinity and brand desire, leading to more goodwill, groundswell and growth. Everybody wins – and isn’t that one of the foremost ambitions of commerce?