In the age of internet startups, it has become essential to build and focus your company image on a specific demographic and/or lifestyle. This (lets call it) "community" that your company identifies with is what defines your brand and really your success. Although Soulstice Swim is still very much a small company, we are constantly concerning ourselves with how our business practices reflect our brand, but how in this ever increasing maze of E-Commerce madness do you continue to grow?...Simple, You give back, and you tell everybody how your doing it!
"Giving back to the community that supports your business, is proving to be the best way to do business" -- Gringos On The Run
Here are 5 companies that have done an amazing job at giving back to the communities that they identify with... From their inception!
Red Bull is a beast. The growth that Red Bull has gone through in the last decade is phenomenal, but what's more phenomenal is how many of the worlds best athletes they support. I have a few friends that are sponsored by Red Bull and all of them have nothing but positive things to say about what the company has done for them and their sport. Red Bull Media house is now covering and funding pretty much every extreme project on earth, from sky-diving from space to extreme Soap-Box derbies. On top of that, even their employees love working for them! Red Bull is a perfect example of how a simple one skew product can create a brand that can and has influenced the lives of some of the worlds best athletes, as well as changed the way we view extreme sports forever simply by pumping profits back into the community that supports them.
Skinny & Co
" Skinny & Co gives 10% of the proceeds back to Vietnam, they promote clean water initiatives, build schools, teach English and fund their farmers all year-round".
We recently did a collaboration with Skinny & Co and we can't help but be impressed at how they have managed to give back so much, so early in their business cycle. These are the kind of business practices that are becoming a requirement for many customers of high quality products. Customers increasingly want to know why they are paying a premium for products they could buy somewhere else for less. It's this type of transparency that builds a sustainable relationship between your clients and your business. Where does it come from? Why is it better? etc...
Yvon Chouinard, the owner of Patagonia is probably the coolest old guy in the world, and I honestly mean this in every sense of the word cool. Patagonia is the face of change in the garment industry. From funding organic cotton farmers in California to running their entire Head Office off Solar Power, Yvon is always looking for ways to lower the overall environmental impact of of his brand. Not to mention 1% of all profits go towards funding small conservation initiatives around the world. On top of that they also support a very niche community of extreme climbing athletes that would otherwise have a hard time finding sponsors to support their nomadic lifestyles. Patagonia is what every business should thrive to be like, which is why we at Soulstice Swim highly respect the direction they have chosen to take their business. We hope to lead by example, and are thankful there are businesses like this to guide us in the right direction. (Watch "180 Degrees South" on Netflix to see how cool Yvon really is).
Nena & Co
Photo: Nena & Co.com
This company is doing amazing things, not to mention they sell absolutely beautiful handmade Guatemalan bags. Check them out at Nena & Co. and feel good about knowing your purchase is supporting something much bigger then just a bag.
"Rather than just admiring the talents of these impoverished Maya families, Nena & Co. is committed to always giving back! Your Nena & Co. purchase will enable us to make a difference in Guatemalan lives, whether it is by providing purified filtered water or a scholarship to help Guatemalan artisans receive a better education".
Pura Vida Bracelets
This is an all around great success story built 100% on the philosophy of giving back from the very start. Pura Vida created an entire collection of products that purely and unselfishly fund a series of great causes.
"Here at Pura Vida Bracelets we dream to do more. That was our inspiration behind the Charity Collection. This collection was created to give back to different causes all over the world. We are partnered with over 190 charities and have donated more than $666,721 to date. We are also a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning we donate 1% of our annual net revenue to environmental organizations worldwide. We’re constantly looking to expand our charity line and we try to support as many causes as possible".
These are just a few examples of the success your business can have through giving back to the people that buy, support and even make your products. Supporting and influencing the very community that your business identifies with will only validate and justify to that community why they choose you to begin with.