How to Differentiate your Social Enterprise
Do your customers know why you do what you do? Do your customers feel involved in your mission and are they willing to take action to make a positive change in the world? Would your customers care if your brand disappeared tomorrow?
If your business is a social enterprise and has a reason to exist besides making money then this could be what makes your business stand out, differentiate from the competition and make an impact.
In today’s consumer culture, the customer holds more power than ever before, but for social enterprises this is a good thing. The reality is your customer’s reactions, thoughts and opinions can be widely spread on social media. This shift in power towards the customer is an opportunity for companies like yours that actually has good intentions and a reason to exist for besides profit.
Your brand’s purpose is unique to your business; and the way in which you articulate your purpose is what differentiates you and attracts customers to buy from you.
Questions to reflect on and get crystal clear about:
- What compels you to get out of bed each morning?
- Aside from making money, why does your business exist?
- Why are you passionate about this business existing?
- What do you, your customers and the world desire from your business?
- What role will your business play in helping you, customers and the world achieve their dreams?
- What problems does your company solve for your customers & the world?
- What emotional state do you, your customers and the world want to experience with your business?
- How will your product / service make you, your customers and the world a better place?
Here’s a framework for crafting your purpose statement:
[You] In what ways does your business fulfill you personally?
[Them] How is it going to attract the customers you want? What need(s) of theirs are you fulfilling?
[Everyone] How will your brand positively impact the world?
EXAMPLE OF A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE THAT DIFFERENTIATES WITH IT’S PURPOSE: ECOSIA
Ecosia is a Berlin-based startup tied to a green cause. The search engine contributes at least 80% of the ad revenue it generates towards planting trees.
It’s a great concept, and what I love about it is how they’ve articulated it through their purpose. Here’s the breakdown:
[You] The business fulfills co-owner Christian Kroll’s desire to make a difference after seeing the devastating effects of deforestation during his trip to a South American rainforest.
[Customers] Ecosia is a means through which customers are able to help plant trees with every web search.
[World] As a whole, Ecosia is helping to mitigate the damage done by worldwide deforestation, one tree at a time
The sweet spot? The phrase, “The search engine that plants trees.” It’s short and sweet and simple enough to understand and gets the message across in an enticing manner.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear… how do you differentiate your social enterprise? How do you communicate your brand’s purpose?