Just so you know:
I’m an ethical conversational copywriter (based in Ngunnawal Country | Canberra). This info comes from the heart with some experience and researchy-stuff – but it sure as hell doesn’t make me an expert 😉
“There’s no line item on a balance sheet for ‘give a damn,’ but it’s the most valuable thing you’ve got in the business.”
Dave Schiff | Founder | Made Movement
a marketing agency for businesses dedicated to more than just selling stuff
You’ve got a cracker of a business. Or at least a pearl of an idea, ready to build a brilliant brand.
You’ve got the dogs-wedding-tackle of products that’ll fly off the shelves.
You have a fancy-schmancy website with ‘nuff-plug-ins’ for folk to buy whatever they want, whenever they like.
Maybe you’ve got all those business-blitzing ducks in a row, but something’s missing. You don’t feel hooked-up with your humans (aka customers)…. you don’t feel like you’re buzzing about what matters most to you.
Yet you know exactly why you’re running a business, right?
Sure you do. It’s what drives you. What drags your ass outta bed every-single-day no matter how f*cking hard it is.
So, how wide is your ‘why’?
Do you wanna make the world a fairer, kinder, greener place?
If you’re giving me an eye-rolling ‘of course,’ read on. You’ll get some cracking good tips to sell your stuff to those savvy seekers. Even those who don’t look, think, or speak like you do. (Yep, don’t forget them)
If you’re giving me a ‘Nah, I’m just here for a stonking big profit,’ read on. You might get something outta this anyway.
The case for getting clear on your purpose
The world has changed, and so have your customers.
More than ever, people want to buy from brands and businesses who speak out and stand up for something bigger than their products (and services).
Here’s a make-you-think stat:
87% of Aussies expect brands to operate ethically. 81% expect brands to be socially responsible. 40% only want to buy products that align with their values.
Having a genuine, ethically run, socially and (or) environmentally conscious business is good for business.
Your customers want to feel like they’re on the same wavelength. Part of some collective purpose-driven, ‘force for good’.
You’ve either got it, or you haven’t
Most small businesses want to be, or already are, purpose-driven.
For some, it comes naturally.
Others need help to discover their purpose and say it without ifs and buts
Let’s get down, let’s get down to (purpose-driven) business
Building a beyond-doubt purpose-driven brand is 100% beneficial for your bottom line. But money isn’t the be-all and end-all.
Better keep it real. Buyers’ll drop you like a hot potato if they get the slightest whiff of insincerity. All it takes is for a customer to scroll Insta or stroll into a website with a similar product supporting an important cause, and *Bam* – they flip to the other side (looking at you, Gillette – welcome aboard Dollar Shave Club).
Those judgy mofo’s prefer to hand their hard-earned cash to a purposeful business (don’t we all) than a don’t-give-a-shit fat-cat. Feels all-kind-of goodness and plays to our human desire to make things better.
You sell snazzy novelty socks.
Capital Socks also sell super cool novelty socks. You’re pretty matchy-matchy, and both have the fox’s socks of a website.
Here’s the thing…
Capital Socks don’t just sell socks for stocks n’ shares. Their purpose is to create ‘treats for your feet’. Designed in their home city (Big-up Canberra) by local artists. Customers are rewarded when they lessen the load in landfill by sending their old, holey, odd socks (and unused clothes) for recycling and reuse.
Bottom line – Capital Socks have a purpose their customers see, feel, believe, and play their part in.
If your beyond-profit purpose or brand-activism isn’t real, credible and clear, you risk losing business to the ethically-driven crew next door.
Struggling to articulate your brand’s beyond-profit purpose? Read on…
Why purpose-driven brands matter
“Who are businesses really responsible to? Their customers? Shareholders? Employees? We would argue that it’s none of the above. Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy environment there are no shareholders, no employees, no customers and no business.”
Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia
Purpose increases impact
Standing up, speaking out benefits your brand. Your people will throw their weight behind you, share what you say and back you.
Spreading the message, advocating for change, and championing a cause is pretty-powerful. But you gotta genuinely give a f*ck – or forget it.
ClothingTheGaps.com.au create First Nations merch with ‘mob in our heart and everyone in mind.’ Their clothing carries a message that sparks conversation.
Purpose improves brand loyalty
Think about the e-comm brands you’re wow-ed by.
Products aside, do you love ’em because they genuinely believe in something? Because they shout it from the rooftops and walk the walk.
Stats show people are proud to rub elbows with purposeful businesses and defend them if someone takes a dig.
Moxie.com.au are planet friendly(er) products soft on the planet, strong on your period. A better, more inclusive, honest and conscious period care brand.
Purpose puts people together
Purpose-driven brands help people feel good. Speaks to their heart. Gives a sense of belonging. Puts spark in their step.
8 ways to build a purposeful e-comm brand
1. Find your purpose
Do it mindfully with heaps of heart. Stuck for a starting point?
Ask yourself (and maybe someone else close to your business):
- What drives you?
- Why you started your business?
- What problem are you solving?
- What change do you want to see?
- What do you really give-a-genuine-shit about?
- What’s the best compliment someone could give your business?
Size isn’t everything
Your purpose doesn’t need to be huge, loud or popular.
But no matter how big and bold, or small or niche, you need to hand-on-heart, make your thing a bona-fide part of your life, a big piece of your biz and do the do (action my friends, action).
2. Decide where to make your ethical mark
Some suggestions and small brands doing their thing:
a) The environment
Over 80% of consumers feel strongly brands should seriously do more for the environment:
- use less water
- sell sustainably-made goods
- make natural, not chemical-laden, products
- use eco-friendly ways to package and transport stuff
Photo from the Australian Natural Soap Company
b) Fair work practices and the fight against waste
More Aussies want to know how things are made and how people who make them are treated.
Be clear about supply chain and carbon footprint details if you can.
Think about recycling, reusing, repurposing, reducing waste of all kinds.
Fast fashion is out. Slow fashion makes sense.
UnderwearForHumanity.com.au recycle textiles, produce ethically made underwear. And workplace training for folk at risk of homelessness.
GoodAndFugly.com.au fight food waste by rescuing imperfect food and finding a good home to ‘make saving the planet affordable, convenient and delicious.’
c) Equity and social justice
Tonnes of savvy shoppers care about race, gender, LGBTQI+. Back these issues (not in a token kinda way – only if you feel it for real)
The road to change is waaaaay more than a black box on Insta or a rainbow on your Facebook profile.
Do a reality check on your website and social media – do your images represent all your customers, or does everyone look pretty much like you?
Check out Sobah.com.au – makers of non-alcoholic craft beer from Australian bush tucker (totally delish) positively promote their First Nations culture.
Kuwaii.com.au make clothing alternatives to mass-made fashion, meticulously designed to last, made in Melbourne.
Photo from Sobah.com.au
3. Shout about your purpose
Once you know your purpose, write your “I/We believe” statement. Tells people why you do what you do.
Your vision and mission statement tells people what you do and how you do it.
BeBangles.co inspire women to be themselves… ‘because now more than ever, the hardest thing is to be yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.’
I’m a white woman, with white privilege, an ethical conversational copywriter – I’m driven by a strong desire for social justice, particularly for Black | Blak women | people.
I’m an active allie, an advocate, a door opener. I step up, speak out and get shit done in big and small ways. I celebrate the voices of those often misheard or unheard, hand over the mic, give credit, spend money when I can.
I don’t want thanks or recognition – I want the real gurus, experts and champions to be heard, get the credit and be compensated.
4. Forget f*ckery fakery
If you fake it, you sure-as-hell won’t make it.
Buyers are a clever bunch (generally speaking). They spot marketing spin BS a mile away and have no qualms calling it out.
Google it. You’ll find fake purpose brands and campaigns (we see you, Pepsi).
Cut the bull-shit. Be 110% legit. Real. True.
5. Put your money where your mouth is
Weave your purpose into every nook and cranny of your business:
- Make purpose-driven decisions every time
- Express your reason-for-being with every fibre of your being
- Celebrate your customers in all their diversity and humanness
- Work and partner with people who’re energised by your purpose
- Be proud of the difference you make. Show it off. Let it happen naturally across everything you do
If your bottom line can stand it, donate a percentage of your profit to do good.
Have a shufti at these directories, full of purpose-driven brands living their values:
Seeking Eco Aussie sustainable brands
Ethical Made Easy global, ethical brand directory
GoodnessMe healthier, free from foods, mostly from Aus and across the ditch
6. Talk the talk
Have fun telling your purpose-driven story.
Make the most of the e-comm marketing kit at your fingertips. Knock the socks off your customers and get them clicking, signing up and buying your stuff.
- Tell stories/interview/reviews from the people who know No Pong
- Dedicate a website page explaining your purpose KnowledgeWater.com.au
- Add video clips to emails and social media Who Gives a Crap (insta)
- Pitch for guest spots on podcasts Black Magic Woman podcast
- Install an impact tracker on your website Thankyou.co
- Create stunning Infographics and blitzing blogs Mayvers.com.au
- Launch a hashtag campaign #LikeAGirl Campaign by Always
Shameless self-plug …
Guessing you’ve worked out by now I’m a copywriter for ecommerce brands … I write crack-a-lacking conversational, click-worthy copy with a hearty side-serve of cake, humour and humanity for ethical, sustainable, and purpose-driven e-commerce brands.
Your words matter. Boring as bat-shit ain’t gonna cut the mustard. Looking for someone to write pizazz and personality to sell your things – check me out.
7. Walk the walk
People do the buying (‘specially women) – not robots. Humans with thoughts, feelings, looking for solutions, hoo-ha from others, weighing up if its worthwhile. They’ll look for evidence you’re living, breathing, and loving your purpose not just ticking a box.
GoToSkincare.com – beating the drum for plant-based uncomplicated skincare across every platform.
8. Taking things further
Got a little extra time on your busy hands? Heaps of brands are working towards B-Corp certification to show they’re a force for good. Could be your next step.
Over to you
If you started your e-comm business to make-big-bucks, think different. When the going gets tough, the profit motive probably won’t fill your literal or figurative buckets, no matter how hard you hustle.
An ethical purpose can be a huge force for good for you and your customers.
Can I retrofit?
Sure you can. But it ain’t gonna happen overnight.
With real vision, genuine stand-points, clear messaging and committed action, you can create an ecommerce brand that’ll stand out for all the right reasons.
Jump in, feet first.
Put these tips into rough and ready practice cos done is better than perfect.
Hold your head high – you’re building a purpose-driven brand destined to make a difference.
Download the 6 ways to check you’re on the purpose driven train – COMING SOON
Lemme know how you go.
Final plug… if you need new words for your website, product descriptions, or email marketing with pizazz and personality – shoot me a message or gimme a call.