At the foundation of any organization are the dual goals of turning a profit and keeping its customers happy and coming back for more. Often those goals butt heads, forcing C-suite decision-makers to make compromises.
While showing quarter after quarter in the black appeals to shareholders, a winning strategy for financial success and amazing customer relationships is to implement a mission-driven operational approach to your organization. Balancing profitability with a moral initiative that makes customers, other businesses and the public excited about your business over the long haul is proven to keep profits higher and customers more loyal than those organizations that do not.
What Being Mission-driven Looks Like
First coined by the National Center for Nonprofit Boards in the late 1990s, the term “mission-driven” has long since escaped its original and limited application in describing government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
As companies have become more socially aware and more accountable in the era of digital technology and transparency, many are joining the ranks by using their platforms and status to promote positive agendas that bring more good to a community, a country or the entire world.
Coca-Cola is a great example, listing its mission statement as:
“To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions. To create value and make a difference.”
This is a great blend of marketing and mission. Advertising for the company’s premier products is full of references to the kind of joy and the feeling of refreshment that comes with drinking a cold Coke with friends or family. But if it just sounds like an advertising pitch, consider the last statement about “creating value and making a difference.” That’s where the Coca-Cola Foundation comes in – a philanthropic body that has given more than $1 billion in the last 35 years to community initiatives worldwide, with a specific focus on enhancing communities, protecting the environment and empowering women.
Coca-Cola’s impressive charity work is an uber example of what becoming mission-driven can look like. The size of the organization does not matter when it comes to transforming your culture and marketing base into a mission-driven business. It is the firm’s strategies and the people who develop them that make it happen.
The mission you choose to embody – no matter what it is – has to resonate both internally and externally. If it fails on either front, you’ve put your eggs in the wrong basket and need to retool as soon as possible.
What does a rapid retooling look like? An automobile manufacturing plant can tout lowering the city’s unemployment rate by hiring out-of-work residents. Public relations for a technology firm could share stories on social media that show the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. There is no rule book – companies can also simply pick a cause that is near and dear to its heart and donate a fixed share of its profits to fight hunger, homelessness, cancer or anything they want.
Regardless of the path it takes, an organization’s mission needs to resonate – no matter the audience.
Shaping a Mission Statement
Crafting a mission statement is an important part of a move to become mission-driven. It defines what your company is and what you want to achieve for both internal and external stakeholders.
Like your mission itself, the mission statement does not have to be complex or earth-shattering. It should be short, no more than a few sentences and even just a few words can work.
Those words are paramount because they are what your marketing and PR will use to illuminate the public, customers, prospects and potential partners about what you stand for.
A mission statement is more than just words on a sheet of paper – it can also shape the culture that your company and employees come to embody and the actions your company takes to fulfill its mission.
Long-Term Benefits of Being Mission-driven
In the age of the internet, most people who are thinking about purchasing a product or service will research both it and the company.
If you’ve marketed your mission successfully, they will realize that not only are you offering value in your goods, but you’re also offering value as a company.
While some customers just want the cheapest, fastest solution to a problem, more want a company they can trust and a company whose values align with their own. When customers believe in a brand, they spend 43% more money with that brand than they would with a generic equivalent.
It’s not just about the money, though. Promoting the culture of your mission to your employees and finding those motivated by a common mission will make your company thrive. Employees who are driven by more than a paycheck are 54% more likely to stay in your employ for more than five years.
That continuity between a mission and employees will elevate the customer experience, promote brand loyalty and turn customer retention into a core aspect of your business.
For more information on how Gabriel Marketing Group can transform your organization’s mission, reach and strategy, contact us today for a consultation!