Why purpose-led and not profit-driven companies are on the rise in a newnormal society
I once scoffed over my cup of tea and scones reading about the existence of a Kindness Association in Singapore. Wouldn’t kindness be a default of being human, I thought. Does everything need instruction? Why do people need to be reminded to be kind? Then there’s the “for-purpose company”, which would set one on a trajectory — does a company exist as an instrument to deliver solutions for the greater common good of humanity? Or are they solely for-profit to reward shareholders?
There seems to be a word abuzz in Founder’s circles these days. A new buzz word that will make your brand more appealing to Xennial employees.
- Social entrepreneurship.
- Cause-related marketing.
- For-purpose companies.
Companies today are more socially conscious and it seems that if you were to attach a cause to your marketing strategy, the appeal to the youth community works in more powerful ways than if you were to attach a straightforward celebrity endorsement, although by no means are we suggesting endorsements don’t work. Together, a celebrity with a cause offers double the impact.
However, is it purely a marketing jargon, or is society truly seeking to do more for one another through ‘social entrepreneurship’?
Here are some case studies to consider:
Hollywood renowned on-screen actress Cate Blanchett has a cause, and that is to further theatre. So, she’s been working with Sydney Theatre Company as their co-artistic director and they’ve just launched together with Suncorp, limited $20 ticket seats to make theatre more accessible to the public. Great move for theatre-goers and bringing theatre closer to the people!
Pakistan’s former cricketeer and celebrity heart throb Imran Khan now bats for politics and has taken on a whole new direction in his campaign, themed ‘change’. He shall be leading his party after winning a seat in parliament to end corruption and effect reforms.
James Dean, although its been a long time since his movie ‘Rebel without a cause’, still continues to drive home the message about youth and their need for freedom of expression. For over 60 years, that movie and the memory of James Dean has given youth the fight for freedom as their ‘cause’.
In Australia, a teenage school kid has come up with a cause himself. Buying a school bus for children from a school in Africa! He has successfully gotten his school friends to help him raise the funds to buy a bus so that it can shuttle the children to/fro school and their small town in Africa.
Closer to home, celebrities are also doing their part for causes, however it seems its more generic rather than “this is my cause, and my only cause”. In Malaysia, we see more and more celebrities pitching in for a multitude of causes. Not just one. So it’s a good thing. But we need more advocates to take a bit more of a risk to step up and pick a cause and offer those charities longevity. Perhaps then, there might be a harder impact hitting home, rather than a fleeting impact.
Social entrepreneurship is a new catch-phrase and I encourage parents with children, families, seniors, young people to embrace a cause and ride with it. Offer a commitment of at least 3–5 years because it will take that amount of time to raise the funds and see through your projects.
I often hear a lot of comments like…
“I’m not sure about which cause to support”
“I’d fight for a cause, but it must be something I like”
“The charity I like already has many sponsors. I don’t think they need me”
“I really want to start my own cause”
Well, folks, make it happen. Sometimes, it’s not about which ‘cause’ we choose. Rather its about which ‘cause’ chooses or needs our help the most. And your role is about connecting the cause, to your community.
Volunteer your time at events. Man a booth. Spread the word about the cause via your social media networks. Any help is a valuable investment for those you could help. It’s a valuable investment for humankind. Charity does not begin at home, folks. Charity is a mindset and begins the instant we’re born. Here’s three cheers to social entrepreneurship and for whatever cause you fight for, make it a fight worthwhile.
Originally published on a blog at http://postrelease.wordpress.com on May 21, 2013.