I’m sure most people are aware of the brand Warby Parker. It’s a quirky company that sells designer glasses at a cheaper price. If there isn’t a store located near you, it is so amazingly easy to order online. You can even try glasses on at home and return the rest, free of charge. To top it off, they donate to charity with every purchase.
Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, discusses the brand’s hierarchy in his Skillshare class: Build a Social Mission Driven Brand.
Invest in your product/service and then consider your brand’s hierarchy.
As a Warby Parker customer, you are presented with the following hierarchy:
- Beautiful glasses, site and store.
- They’re a cheaper price and convenient to try.
- You try them on and discover they’re well made.
- You then learn that buying a pair will give a pair.
This hierarchy allows the company to build brand loyalty and trust through the user journey. You may be sold by good customer service and product quality, but the social mission offers a tasteful dessert.
You need to be authentic in your intentions. A mission cannot exist for the sole purpose of driving sales.
In the age of the internet, if you’re not genuine, your audience will see right through you. Your mission needs to be one of the core elements of your brand, and with every decision that you make, it needs to be considered. When the heads at Warby Parker are making a decision, they consider four questions:
- Is it authentic?
- Is there a compelling story?
- Does it do good in the world?
- Is it unexpected?
A social mission is not something that you can just tack on; it needs to be a core narrative of your brand. Being sincere in your efforts takes thought and nurturing, but your audience and employees will recognize it.
Social missions are not only good for humanity, they’re also good for business.
Millennials – you know them, you love them. And large numbers of them are pushing for social mission driven brands. Not only will they be more likely to buy from companies that are socially conscious, they are more likely to work for these companies as well.
“I think the biggest benefit that we’ve seen for our organization is having a very prominent social mission. It helps us attract and retain passionate employees. One thing that we do is that for anyone who has been at the company for three years, we’ll fly them somewhere in the world to go out with our nonprofit partners into the field – see how they’re administrating eye exams, see how they’re actually distributing glasses to people that are in some of the poorest regions of the world. The impact that has on our staff is pretty profound, where they come back and they’re incredibly energized. It makes sense from a business perspective, and we’re also able to help millions of people around the globe.”
-Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and CEO
If you are considering introducing a social mission into your brand or working on one already, I highly suggest watching Blumenthal’s video. He has a lot of great points to consider. The main one that I took away is whatever you’re doing, do it with honesty and sincerity. People will trust and react to your brand more, and you’ll feel good about it too.
If you have insights on introducing social missions into brands, tweet @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.