The business world’s reputation is still reeling from the excessive greed that drove the economy into the Great Recession of 2008. Fortunately, though, there’s some hope, and it comes in the form of companies that place their mission above profit. For these companies, it just so happens that taking a long-term perspective in their adherence to their mission has correlated with massive growth and, yes, profitability.
What sets these companies apart is that they’re not just giving lip service to mission; they really do live their mission and have concrete examples to prove it. Here are two companies that adhere to their mission, even if it means sacrificing short-term profits:
Patagonia’s mission is to…
Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
The company recognizes that contributing to a culture of consumption by producing and pushing sales of as many new items as possible would go against their mission. So even if it means fewer sales, Patagonia encourages its customers to repair their existing clothing or buy used Patagonia clothes before buying something new from Patagonia, and the company even helps customers do it. On Black Friday 2011, the company took out a full-page ad in the New York Times that said “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” and went on to explain the environmental impact of producing the fleece jacket.
Chipotle’s mission is…
Food with Integrity
The company sources local produce (when in season), without GMOs, and from animals treated humanely. So when the company found out that one of its suppliers wasn’t treating pigs humanely, Chipotle suspended their relationship with that supplier, even though it meant that they wouldn’t be able to serve their beloved carnitas for months. If you’ve been to a Chipotle lately, you’ve probably seen a sign that says “Sorry, no carnitas.” The decision came at the expense of short-term sales, but it will further solidify Chipotle’s reputation among a population that increasingly shares Chipotle’s beliefs.
But any short-term hit on profits that these companies are experiencing in pursuit of mission does not appear to be slowing them down — even in the short-term. Patagonia’s experiencing double-digit growth, and Chipotle opens a new restaurant every two days. The long-term implications of these mission-driven decisions are huge, as they are forging connections with customers, current team members, and potential team members that will pay off greatly in the future.
It’s concrete examples like this that we bring to life in the form of engaging content for our clients, who use our content to add substance to the claims they’re making about why they exist, who they are, what they believe in, and where they’re headed. Let us know if you’d like to learn more!
Photo: Nicolás Boullosa on Flickr