In our western world of abundance, we are looking for more from the businesses we support. This may mean buying local, buying organic, or buying something unique or handmade. There is a push for businesses to find better ways to promote their products and services to their customers that are looking to get more for their money.
Dove, one of the leading brands in the soap industry, makes commercials not to promote how well the soap will clean your skin, but to promote confidence in women.
Coca-Cola doesn’t just sell a drink with great taste anymore, it sells happiness or it sells friendship.
Westjet sells great service as well as heartwarming gift giving at Christmas.
The reason big brands are finding new ways to connect with their customers is because they know that there is a huge push emerging for a more deep and meaningful connection to the items we purchase and who we buy it from. Where convenience is still important to us in our busy lives, we are more likely nowadays to take extra time to go to a local small business to find that perfect gift or item we need.
As a fairly conscientious consumer myself (although I have a long way to go), I know from personal experience that I’m prone to be more supportive and purchase something if it warms my heart. I love knowing that my money is not just going to my own needs and wants, but is actually making a difference in the lives of others.
With a background in not-for-profit work there is a significant part of me that wants to be mindful of my actions, which includes where my money is spent. Since this is such a big part of my own philosophy (as well as Nathan’s) we decided that if we were to start a business it would have to be with purpose. And it would have to be more than one dimensional.
What we see as being purposeful is this:
- Giving proceeds to local charities (charities in the areas we have our events)
- Giving charities a chance (for free) to be a part of our events to do their own fundraising
- Paying our employees no less than living wage (according to area) or the industry standard, but also making sure that the cap is never too high (including us as owners)
- Shareholders will only have voting rights with no income unless as an employee to keep business decisions more about what we are offering and less about the bottom line
- Local purchasing where possible (business cards, posters, renting equipment, etc)
- Transparency about our budget and how much money gets donated to charities
As we get started on this journey we will continually be looking into ways to become more and more purposeful. I’m sure it will not always be easy, but we are confident that we can make it work. I hope that you will join us, support us, and give us the right kick in the pants when we need it (nicely, of course).