What is typically considered when measuring business success? Most business professionals are accustomed to evaluating success based on revenue, customer conversions, website traffic and perhaps even audience impressions. But have you ever tracked success based on how responsible your brand is in creating social value?
That responsibility bucket is nuanced and begins to challenge the way companies do business. Today’s most innovative and sustainable brands have taken the old business model of 3G growth; growth that is consistent, competitive and profitable and moved it up a notch to include a position on values and purpose.
The new and improved 4G model, as explained by COO of Unilever Harish Manwani in a refreshing TED Talk Profit’s Not Always the Point, takes into account the need for companies to play a role in serving the communities that sustain them. Today’s marketplace yearns for companies founded on businesses practices that make money by doing good and model their value and purpose beyond what they sell.
At Goodwill® we are honored to stand in partnership with organizations that believe in the 4G model and understand that their brand, expertise and unique contribution to the marketplace can actually change lives. Connecting with a modern apparel company like Levi’s encouraged donors to give more than 18,000 pairs of jeans to Goodwill (enough to fill Levi’s Stadium in our Field of Jeans event) illustrating what can happen when consumers and companies work together to make a positive impact on the environment. This impact is also be seen in department store chains like Bon-Ton, best known for its biannual Goodwill Sale which encourages donors to give millions of pounds of donated goods each year to local Goodwill organizations who turn those donations into critical job training and support services.
Companies must find purpose beyond their product to understand and embrace the responsibility they have to the communities they serve and operate. Companies should understand that their true north is to change lives.