BBMG has a new guide out for cause-conscious companies. It’s called Disrupt & Delight and it outlines five principles that reflect the best work of socially responsible companies like Nike, Patagonia and Unilever.
I think some of the principles of so-called sustainable brands can work for nonprofits, too. So here are three that I find relevant, with my commentary on how they relate to our world.
1. Start With What’s Sacred
According to BBMG, “University of Virginia psychology professor Jonathan Haidt helps explain why companies like Coke and Zappos are in the business of Happiness, not products: The great trick that humans developed at some point in the last few hundred thousand years is the ability to circle around a tree, rock, ancestor, flag, book or god, and then treat that thing as sacred.” Guess what? We are in the happiness business too. If you promote a good cause, you are giving people the opportunity to feel great by making a difference in the world. That means your cause is a rallying point, and that makes it sacred in an important way. I’m not advocating false idols. Rather, this: Your brand should start and end with the essence of how you bring joy to the world.
2. Create Collaboratively
“To meet the weighty challenges of today’s global economy, we can’t go it alone—even if we wanted to. The best solutions are not necessarily crowd-sourced, but they are co-created with input from parts of organizations, communities and society,” says the report. Is your organization working with other nonprofits, advocates and companies to make the biggest change you can?
3. Be Playful
Says the report, “Leading scientists, researchers and business leaders are waking up to what kids at your local park already know: play helps us move beyond rigid rules and predetermined structures to create new possibilities. Workplaces that foster a playful approach (or, at the very least, deviate from the expected from time to time) are rewarded with employees who more easily improvise and think of new ideas. Brands that embrace gamification, like RecycleBank, are trying to marry a sense of play with behavioral economics to drive more consumer engagement.” This is my favorite recommendation. Are you giving people in your workplace the playful experiences that spark creativity? Are you creating a hopeful environment? Do you give people room to invent? Learn how to do more in the report!