Deciding on the best model for your big idea is always difficult. An idea is just an idea. No matter how good it is, unless you can generate an income with it, you don't stand a chance of success. 1Face has decided to target the philanthropy sector. Through their range of watches, they have managed to save millions of lives across the world.
They have not done this through producing profit purely for the sake of profit; they have done it through helping others. The leader of 1Face, Fam Mirza, said, "While our business has shown the good the corporate sector can do for charitable causes, it demonstrates how philanthropy has changed in society as a whole."
So how has 1Face managed to make a living out of philanthropy?
One of the biggest reasons why putting philanthropy first has been so successful is due to shifting generations. With every new generation comes a shifting of priorities. The baby-boomer generation wanted only the best deal. They wanted to save money on anything they bought.
Generation X followed a similar pattern, but the Millennial generation is more interested in whom it's buying from and the impact on the world. Millennials are interested not just in what they're buying but where their money is going. They are more socially conscious than ever before.
With Millennials now making up the majority of the work force, and baby boomers starting to bow out, companies increasingly have to take Millennials into account. 1Face has drawn in this giving generation by being totally transparent about where their money is going: They buy a watch and it goes toward a good cause.
That feel-good feeling
Philanthropy has become a big issue in the business world because the customer experience has become a bigger issue than ever before. Customers are going to choose a business just because it offers them a better experience.
One way of doing this is to donate a portion of your profits to a good cause, and then show them the difference they have made. From 2012 to 2014, 56 percent of companies increased the amount they gave to good causes. This is a sword with two blades because you are getting the product you paid for, which in this case is a stylish watch, and you are living with the knowledge that you contributed toward solving the problem of world hunger.
Charity isn't competition
Corporate philanthropy is nothing new. Businesses have been donating to charity for generations. The problem CEOs had was that this was something extra. All the benefits of donating to a good cause had to be balanced with their core profit-making business practices.
With 1Face, charity isn't competition. Since charity is the core of what they do, everything is about being able to help those in need around the world. There's no interference with core business practices because philanthropy is their core business practice.
The main disadvantage of corporate philanthropy simply doesn't apply to them.
Giving that doesn't hurt
Charitable campaigns aren't as simple as donating money to a good cause or sending gifts overseas to impoverished communities. Sometimes they can go terribly wrong. You have to consider the implications of anything you happen to be giving.
For example, a company that shall remain unnamed decided to send T-shirts to Africa. The problem was that while these clothes were of good quality, the communities the company was sending them to had a thriving secondhand clothing market. By sending these free clothes, it crippled a significant sector of the local economy, thus putting people out of work.
1Face carefully took this into account. It's why when they give, they don't do it in a way that could cause a lot of pain and suffering for that community.
And this is something every business has to take into account. They have to look at the knock-on effects of what they are doing; otherwise philanthropy can actually cause more harm than good.
Conclusion--making charity work
Charity doesn't have to be the core of your business in order to do some real good in the world. Any business is capable of changing the world for the better, but it usually requires more of an investment than money. You have to donate your time, and you have to think about the long-term effects of what you're doing.
Don't give to charity just because you think it could act as a great promotional tool. Give to charity because you are genuine in your wish to make a difference.