COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world towards advancement. Businesses that abide by it are progressing despite the imposed restrictions, while others are paying no heed to the survival requisites have met their fate -shut down.
In straightforward terms, for businesses to stay in the market if not the same as they were, they have to adopt an in-depth transformation, including digitalization, value chain disruption, and increased customer focus. Although that alone is not enough, this is becoming the basic requirements of the current time.
” Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY he means purpose, cause or belief – People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”
Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why
In the prevailing situation, organizations of all sizes and types focus on restructuring and reinventing their business. Such a self-disruptive approach has enabled them to find unsolved problems and new opportunities to answer customers’ evolving requirements. Going further, detailed observations into recent disruptions have revealed a shift in disruptive practices to being purpose-oriented. This new lever of change has been the most effective and sustainable of all the other approaches.
Let’s dive deeper into the working of this WHY new lever.
Purpose Shows a Strong Entry Point for Disruption
A triggering factor pushing businesses into adopting a disruptive framework can be the purpose that gives meaning to their existence.
Some entrepreneurs and small startups focus on short term gains, directing all their resources without recognizing the more significant issues, offering a more sustainable return. They get so engrossed in the shallow purposes that they miss out on the more meaningful rewards. Fortunately, the boom of social innovation and new purpose-driven startups are changing this trend.
Wondering how to identify these rewarding opportunities? Acknowledge your purpose.
For that, you need to ask yourself the following questions.
- Why did you establish the business?
- Why do you strive to be different from your competitors?
- What are your customers more concerned about?
- How can your offering bring a purposeful social, economic, or environmental change?
A clear purpose can guide you through unanticipated circumstances. Situations like the current pandemic might have you pondering upon the new strategies and modifications that you need to adapt to survive in the market. If your company has a clear north, your new strategy to deal with the situation will comply with your purpose.
The world of disruption is undergoing a major revolution. This parallel disruptive force is based on emerging values and norms circulating the commercial world. Not only customers but also investors and even employees are also focusing on associating with organizations that endeavor to create a positive social impact.
According to a Business Wire study, more than 40% of consumers consider a business’s social impact when purchasing decisions. Brands like Warby Parker, Patagonia, Tala, Seventh Generation, and Ben & Jerry’s have shown ways to maintain and win even loyal consumers. Let’s have a detailed look at the purpose-oriented approaches of disruption that became a part of their brand identity.
In the present-day scenarios, consumers seek to support businesses that offer valuable products and services while ensuring a positive social influence. Keeping this in mind, Seventh Generation -the U.S. largest cleaning equipment supplier, has evolved as an eco-friendly entity, which is committed to offering sustainability and human health. It has rewarded the brand with accelerated growth, large purchases, customer goodwill, and earned media.
The brand’s mission is to change consumer behavior to maintain sustainable health for the generations to come. One of its primary goals is to deploy 100% renewable energy sources by 2025. It further plans to provide zero-waste packaging and improve organizational diversity.
Studies have shown that 62% of global consumers aspire to associate with companies that take action on social issues. Patagonia makes an excellent example of such a company. The brand is an active advocate of environmental campaigns for a long time. The brand has even changed its mission from a product-environment hybrid to solely being an environment-friendly entity; their reflect his ion all their communication strategy as an example, see this announcement that told people not to buy a jacket at least they need one
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s aims at providing a lot more than just ice-creams, the brand is dedicated to promoting social justice and creating awareness of environmental issues. Ben & Jerry’s approaches to such a mission by partnering with NGOs and other social and environmental activists. To derive impactful results, the brand makes sure to connect with professionals in the relevant field.
Warby Parker was mainly started with the mission to promote people’s right to see. This mission enabled the eyewear brand to become a major disruptor of the industry as it came up with an affordable pair of glasses that the majority could afford. Moreover, they donated a pair of glasses on every purchase made with them. It didn’t take the company long to be valued at over a billion dollars.
Tala is a microfinance company offering the world’s most flexible credit to small businesses. The brand was formed with the mission to make short loans to businesses and individuals with lower credit scores or no financial identities worldwide. It provides loans as small as $40, that too, in about 60 seconds.
In regions like Southeast Asia and Africa, there are hardly a few people with a credit score. Instead of considering the person’s financial situation, Tala considers several thousand data points on a burrower’s mobile phone gained in the forms of merchant transactions, web searches, social media, etc. It analyzes the credibility of a person based on these points.
The brand operates to form a strong and sustainable relationship with global consumers that return to them as many times as they need some extra cash for their business. Within 11 months of its inauguration, Tala had loaned over $22 million.
Sustainability –The Driving Force Behind Future Disruptive Innovation
Disruptive innovation has been drastically changing societies over time. We have upgraded from horse-drawn plows to steam engines and even smartphones. These innovations have immensely improved our lives and the environment in unimaginable ways, and they continue to do so.
One of the currently observed driving force behind disruptive innovation is sustainability. The world faces major social and environmental issues, including water and air pollution, scarcity of resources, climatic problems, etc. In the present time, it is crucial to be part of the movement and develop sustainable products and services that can last longer without impacting the environment. Hence, the companies have to be prepared to deal with the changes beforehand. A strategic approach to disruption
UN Promotes Innovative Disruption to Make This World A Better Place
Although, crisis brings us closer to our surroundings and strengthens our ties of cooperation and solidarity that perhaps was never experienced before.
According to the current estimations, the pandemic can cost the world economy over a trillion dollars. This devastating situation has already crippled many economies and hasn’t even stopped yet. If conditions remained the same, it would lead to unprecedented catastrophes.
To combine the need for more innovation and sustainability priorities, we can use the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint. These goals are a direction to restoring the economy and maintaining peace across the planet. Through this guideline, the UN has highlighted the need for businesses and communities to join hands and take collective actions towards making this world a better place.
These development goals, also referred to as Global Goals, were given out in 2015 to fight poverty and ensure equality on earth by 2030. In the form of sustainable goals, the UN has given us an extensive list of jobs to be done, thus promoting disruptive innovation. Since these goals are integrated, the steps taken towards the fulfillment of one will affect the other. However, their ultimate goal is to achieve social, environmental, and economic sustainability.
As learned from the examples of Warby Parker, Tala, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, etc., disruption based on solid purposes is more powerful and sustainable than others. These companies question the current state of offerings in the industry. They identify the sectors that haven’t been answered yet. Hence, they use their business platforms to solve far more significant problems than just selling a pair of glasses or ice creams.
These days, customers are much more passionate about the business that offers benefits like helping people in need, protecting animals and the environment, etc. Thus, setting your purpose of disruption makes sure to add lasting social or environmental benefits to it.
Once a business has its purpose, all of its decisions align with it to collectively achieve the final goal. Therefore, it also forces enterprises to try different technologies and investigate methods to shape these technologies’ use following their purpose.
So, WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?