We’ve been pretty head over heals with Amanda Brinkman after hearing her speak at the Minnesota Marketing Summit. Our favorite quote from the entire day came from Amanda when she said, “One of my missions is to convince companies that you can do well as a company by doing good.” What’s not to love?
Amanda is currently the Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe, a contributing writer for Forbes, and spearheaded the Small Business Revolution movement.
Deluxe, like many companies today, realized that in order to have a sustainable business, there needed to be a greater business purpose. We love seeing brand and marketing departments pushing this “Do Good” movement forward!
Let’s read what Amanda has to say.
I am on a mission to encourage more companies to believe they can “Do Well, By Doing Good”.
I believe it is vital that businesses lead with their purpose and take actions that align with that mission. This isn’t philanthropy or employee volunteerism – those are two vital aspects of your company’s heart for the community and a company absolutely should fulfill on that responsibility – what I am referring to is more. This is about “putting your money where your mouth is” as a brand and truly DOING something good for the community you serve.
First you have to identify your true core brand purpose and then you have to execute against this with actual brand actions. Many brands will categorize messaging shifts in their advertising and external communications as delivering on their brand promise. And yes, if a company is utilizing their advertising reach to take a stand with their words that is certainly the first step. But should be a point of view that advocates for and/or benefits your customers. The words should not be about you as a company but should inspire and foster change and action. And then to truly Do Good… how can you take that sentiment and turn it into something bigger and more impactful for your customers? Actions speak louder than words.
Doing Good as a company can help you Do Well in many ways.
First – Purchase Decision
Customers prefer companies that go above and beyond, who have ethical business practices, are active members of the community in authentic ways and who do the right thing. New generations of buyers are demanding a social conscience from the businesses that they patron. Consumers pay attention to the company’s reputation and how the brand behaves.
Second – Customer Loyalty
When your brand participates in your customer’s lives beyond the sale – you are securing a relationship beyond a single purchase. High quality products and services certainly play in to customer loyalty but a great brand experience can fill product or service gaps that may occasionally occur. Acquiring new customers is significantly more expensive than retaining current ones so it is of great value to have customers who will stick by you. They will do this when they feel you are worth the allegiance.
Third – Employee Recruitment and Retention
Finding great talent is hard. And keeping them can be just as difficult! Everyone wants to understand what kind of difference their daily work is making in real people’s lives. A well-articulated and action-oriented brand purpose can help all employees realize their work matters and is making a difference. It will attract top talent and save your company money by keeping them.
I could go on and on about the benefits of Doing Good as a company, but the bottom line is – It is just the right way to be as humans. We all have influence and a voice. Our existence has to be about more than making shareholders rich…it has to be about helping make each other’s lives better.
So how do you do that as a brand? A company can ask itself – what would the world be missing if we weren’t in business? There was an original problem you were solving when the business started, sometimes it is getting back to those roots. And determining how you can make your customer’s lives better. It has to be about more than just selling them products or services. It has to be about serving the whole person, caring about the issues that impact their lives and identifying the unique place you occupy in influencing positive change for them.
Happy Purpose Mining! Thank you for caring about this issue and for doing what you can at your company to push for brand actions against a true and authentic brand purpose. Together we can elevate the marketing practice and industry as a whole – we have a responsibility to be the advocators for the HEART of our companies coming through. We can do this…We must do this.
Follow Amanda: @amandakbrinkman on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Her work can also be found at amandakbrinkman.com.