CAUSE! A Business Strategy for Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness
April 07, 2016
It's been more than 20 years since NUTS!, the story of Herb Kelleher and Southwest Airlines, was published. Now Jackie and Kevin Freibeg bring us CAUSE!
"People don’t buy products and services; they buy better versions of themselves."
More than 20 years ago Kevin and Jackie Freiberg wrote the international bestseller NUTS! the story of how Herb Kelleher and the founders of Southwest Airlines were CAUSE-driven, determined to democratized the skies by making flying affordable for all people, giving ordinary people the freedom to go places. Even today NUTS!, although dog eared, flagged and heavily highlighted, continues to occupy a sacred and revered place on the shelves of many executives offices, C suite libraries, and People Development Centers. Fast forward 20 years and the Freibergs have written Cause! Business Strategies for Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness. Companies that define themselves as cause-oriented stand out. They have better employee engagement, customer loyalty, and ultimately, stronger profitability and growth, all of which is documented in CAUSE!
WILL WORK FOR A CAUSE!
What motivates people to bring their best selves to work?
An invitation to change the world, a cause worth fighting for. When people find something noble and heroic to be part of, their lives and work take on greater meaning and significance. They become more impassioned, more willing to think like owners of the business and more committed to the growth of the enterprise.
A heroic cause has a magnetic affect on great talent.
World-class people gravitate to companies where they know they can have an impact. Yet, the research shows that the global workforce is still disengaged. Too many employees have become Dead People Working.TM
A critical part of the employee engagement equation has been missing. Companies spend too much time focused on HOW and not the WHY. “How do we equip our people to do a job? How do we develop our people to be leaders and innovators? How do we get them to be accountable and change?” Maybe we should be asking:
Have we given them anything worth changing for?
In CAUSE Jackie and Kevin Freiberg show you the power of what can happen when a business is defined as a cause.
The people of National Life have developed a direct line-of-sight between their individual contribution and the larger cause for which the company fights. The result is unprecedented growth from a company that competes in a sea of sameness.
Experience the culture of National Life and you quickly discover that something beyond selling insurance drives these people. You quickly get the sense that employees are caught up in a cause that touches them at a deeply emotional level— something that transcends profitability and the bottom line. The emotional connection they have with a larger cause releases a powerful flow of passion, pride, perseverance, and productivity.
They are doing great GOOD for Middle America and beyond. Their story will inspire you to want to increase your own financial literacy so you, too, can handle life unscripted and retire with financial dignity.
And guess what? They are blowing the doors off business-as-usual when it comes to loyalty, profitability and shareholder value.
WILL BUY FOR A CAUSE!
What motivates customers to become brand enthusiasts?
An opportunity to buy products and services that change the world. People seek self-expression and self-identity through what they buy. To a large degree, our purchases are a statement about who we are, what we believe and the causes that define us.
People don’t buy products and services; they buy better versions of themselves.
When we buy things that enrich lives from companies that are doing good, we look in the mirror and see a better version of ourselves. This is what the “buy one give one” movement is about.
A better version of me feels, well…better!
In the case of National Life, what good parents, after purchasing a product that assures the financial security of their family, can’t look in the mirror and see a better version of themselves?
Consumers are getting much more serious about using their purchasing power to drive positive change. If we compete, you make a widget and I make a widget and our widgets are relatively the same; and your company is defined as a cause and mine is not, you have the advantage.
When quality and price are equal, a critical factor influencing brand choice is CAUSE. As a consumer purchasing trigger, CAUSE has risen 26 percent since 2008.
It’s no longer enough just to sell a product or service that works or meets an expectation. Consumers expect meaningful social impact.
Right now, if you can’t demonstrate that you are legitimately doing something to make the world better your business is in trouble.
The market is hungry for something genuine to believe in and contribute to. Think of the possibilities, what if you invite employees and customers into a movement by defining your business as a cause. In CAUSE! the people and business partners of National Life offer one of many powerful examples of how it is being done and how a cause can help your business standout in a sea of sameness too.