The Value of Being Purpose-Driven in Business

Find out from our CEO why it’s so important for businesses to lead with a cause in 2020 and beyond

September marked the 37th Annual Celebration of Achievement by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) of Chicago. The women of Yakkety Yak had the opportunity to learn from, honor and celebrate women business owners around Chicago. Notable speakers included Betsy Owens, the Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and our very own CEO and Founder Ashley Logan.

Ashley presented on the concept of purpose-driven business—something that’s been built into our foundation here at Yakkety Yak. Businesses with a purpose make a difference in the world by standing for a mission and taking action rather than just selling their services. Here’s why it’s so important in today’s economic landscape to be purpose-driven in business and how to get started.

What is a purpose-driven business?

Purpose-driven businesses are for-profit enterprises that incorporate a social purpose into their strategy and operations and dedicate time, resources and funding to supporting a cause. Other terms used for this are corporate social responsibility, social impact and cause marketing.

Iconic examples of purpose-driven businesses include TOMS, Warby Parker and Patagonia

TOMS and Warby Parker employ a “one for one” model, where they’ll donate a free item for each one sold. Patagonia, an eco-conscious B Corporation, donates 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.  

Another purpose-driven business you may know? Yakkety Yak. 

How Yakkety Yak drives with purpose

It’s a little-known fact that Yakkety Yak got started doing nonprofit work. Back when Ashley started the company, people she knew who ran nonprofit organizations came to her with questions and problems—and she was more than excited to solve them through creative content and marketing strategies. As Yakkety Yak grew, Ashley formally integrated being mission-driven into our strategy. Eventually, it became a way for us to evaluate partners, and now we help our clients make a difference for causes that matter to them. Today, we only take on mission-driven clients, and we also run the Yakkety Yak Gives Back program, through which our team donates a year of marketing services to an organization whose mission it is to better the community. Being purpose-driven is a beacon for how we do business; it guides everything from our hiring practices to who we work with, and it is an integral part of our vision and core values.

Why purpose-driven businesses do better

Having a cause as a company positively impacts business in all ways. From a consumer perspective, studies show that 81% of millennials want the companies they buy from to practice business sustainably and ethically, and a vast majority of Gen Zers expect more from brands than just products. With these being the two youngest generations—the generations currently driving and inheriting the market—it’s a good indicator that being a purpose-driven business is better for business than not being one. 

Additionally, doing work for a cause also positively impacts company culture. The Benevity Engagement Study showed that turnover dropped by 57% at companies where employees felt connected to giving and volunteering efforts. Along with this, nearly 64% of millennials are willing to decline a job offer from a company without any corporate social responsibility practices. What it comes down to is this: People feel more connected to and driven by work when they know it’s making a genuine difference.

3 key steps to being a purpose-driven business

There are three essential elements to note when it comes to discovering your purpose and making it essential to your business: 

  1. Messaging. Make sure you integrate your cause into your brand’s language. When you talk about your business, talk about how you give back. Define your approach in clear terms. Whether it’s by donating money, matching contributions to an organization, planting trees, picking up trash or anything else you do, explain in detail how you’re making an impact and make it a part of your brand.
  2. Participation. Fully incorporate your cause into your company by inviting your consumers, employees and clients along for the ride. Your cause should be built directly into your company culture. When you hire new employees, work with new vendors or attain new clients, make sure they are aligned with and actively participating in giving back.
  3. Share the impact. Let everyone know how you’re doing and reinforce the value of your impact through storytelling. From hiring practices to company presentations to the company website, ensure that your business reflects your purpose in every way. Heck, make like we did and put it right in your mission statement: We are a collective of creative, curious high-performers who give a damn. Working alongside like-minded people, our vision is to show the world that impact is ours for the making. 

Social Impact Best Practices for Businesses

If you still have questions about being a purpose-driven business, get in touch with Yakkety Yak. We believe that everyone has a story worth telling—and that every business can make a difference for the better. Let us help you tell yours.


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