I have always been amazed by how a greater cause impacts business’ success. Let me start with a personal story. I never liked flavored yogurts. The only thing I ever picked from the yogurt fridge, at the markets, was plain yogurt. Until I heard Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO of Chobani yogurt announcing the decision to gave 10% of Chobani stock to its employees.
Just learning about such action, caught my attention about this brand, so I started reading Chobani’s diet facts, and eventually, I became willing to try it.
What psychology tells us is that as human beings, we care to be a part of a bigger picture. We like to be associated with a successful group. This need of association and sense of belonging pushes us to become a member of professional organizations, charity groups, or a particular club’s member. This need is even more powerful when it serves a greater cause. We crave giving back and being included in projects that have great impacts on the world, especially if it takes minimal effort from us to participate in that mission.
Think about the following examples:
How many times you or people you know have avoided shopping at Walmart because you are aware that this company pays low salary to its labor? And how many times have you caught yourself buying overpriced cookies from Girls’ Scout because you felt your purchase contributes to a valuable activity?
Would you be interested in spending money at Better World Books because, for every book purchased on their site, Better World Books donates one book to Books for Africa?
Will you consider buying comforter from The Company Store because, for every comforter purchased from The Company Store, they will donate one comforter to a homeless child in the U.S?
Or even buy more items from Amazon because if you use Smile Amazon, you would be contributing a tiny percentage of your purchase to your favorite charity?
How about donating your well-used clothes to H& M instead of selling them online because H&M recycles materials, supporting sustainability, in addition to making the brand an affordable fashion without sacrificing the planet?!
People, especially those of us living in the West spend lots of money buying clothes we don’t need, decoration that does not change our life and snacks that only threaten our health. Point being we spend lots of money, and sometimes to feel better, we decide to spend on brands that contribute to a greater cause: businesses that give back to end hunger, save the planet, or fund education.
The pleasure and fulfillment that consumers gain by spending, and sometimes over spending, at companies and brands that are based on “giving back” impact our identity and sense of importance in the world.
And most importantly, such change does not take any extra effort because we would be buying anyways. We just choose some brands over others because they contribute to a greater cause.
So a good practice for all eager money-making businesses is to adopt a “giving back” model and attract more consumers by adding value and greater purpose to their mission. It is certainly a win- win strategy that brings money and fulfillment.
And going back to Chobani yogurt, I am a big fan now.
My advice to all corporate practices: make more money and use some of it for a good cause.