What do Nike and Ben & Jerry’s have in Common?
The answer is simple: What they believe, not what they sell, guides the decisions they make. Why is this noteworthy? Because these beliefs guided the business decisions that ended up paying off substantially in the long run.
Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. And to Nike, if you have a body, you’re an athlete. So how do they bring this belief to life? They don’t advertise their hundreds of thousands of products or how those products are better than those of their competitors. They bring inspiration and innovation with campaigns like the Colin Kaepernick ad not asking people if their dreams are crazy, but if they’re crazy enough. This ad led to sales surging 31% in the days after it was unveiled, more than $43 million worth of media exposure in the first 24 hours after the campaign dropped, and market value up $6 Billion, which was an all-time high. While this campaign wasn’t a safe choice, it was a choice made within the context of what Nike believes, and that’s what made it the right (right and profitable) choice.
Ben & Jerry’s is committed to “linked prosperity,” the notion that as the business prospers, its community of stakeholders such as suppliers and employees will benefit, too. Their product is as important to them as their commitment to making the world a better place. To them, without one the other cannot grow, and as one grows, the other does as well. They’ve been committed to this mission since 1987, creating philanthropic flavors like Pecan Resist and Save our Swirled. Rob Michalak, global director of social impact for Ben & Jerry’s, says it best, “You might be thinking, ‘That’s a nice idea, but at the end of the day, business is business: does this linked prosperity business model actually work?’ To that I’d say a resounding yes: doing good for the community is also good for business. We know that people have deeper, more loyal connections to businesses that have shared values. We see this in the successful companies that are growing the certified B Corp movement. They will stick with those companies longer, through good and bad times, helping to smooth out rough patches along the way.”
When a brand has a strong purpose, as these two do, and when they allow that purpose to guide everything it is that they do—from company culture, customer experience and communications—they become believable. They give people something to buy into, not just something to buy, which is why people ultimately end up buying more from them.
At Trumpet, we help brands become believable. We help them find their belief and guide them to filter all decisions through that belief. And if that belief is already alive and well within the culture of a company, we help them articulate it to the world. Interested in becoming more believable? Let’s talk.