Business today is about more than simply making a great product or hitting a financial target. It's about making a difference.

In a world where isolation and disconnection have spread, due in part to the constant presence online that leads to feeling disconnected, people crave community and a chance to make an impact. Consumers have become more demanding and have set higher expectations not only for the places they work but from the products they buy. They want more, and it is up to us to give it to them. 

If you want your business to succeed in the long run, it is time to make a change and find something to give back to. Here are three reasons why building a company that gives back benefits everyone.

1. You provide customers the opportunity to give.

Create a business that enables customers to use their purchasing power to do good. The impact doubles when you can combine a customer improvement to their own life, allowing their purchase to help others in need.    

If you set up the model similar to Tom's one-for-one, you provide consumers with a connection to exactly who they are helping. People are more likely to give when they feel a more intimate connection to the one they are giving. Instead of donating a percentage of sales to a broad charity, put a face to the cause and showcase what specific group their purchase power will be helping.

People have a need to feel valued, and being part of a larger cause is one way to give this to them. You allow customers to feel better about what they are doing when your product gives back.

2. Organic marketing campaigns are born.

With your customers feeling full of gratitude and joy from their purchase, you have sparked an organic content campaign specifically for your business. The cause tied to your company gives them a reason to share their purchase of your product.

Your product can become a walking campaign for the cause you support, and vice-versa.  I recently saw someone wearing a beanie and when I asked where it was from they launched into a story about how the company Love Your Melon donates half of the proceeds to pediatric cancer. This person was a walking advertisement for their product and mission, whether they knew it or not. Consumers are wearing their hats not just as a fashion item, but as a statement that they care about and support children battling cancer.  

Giving back not only attracts customers but also strategic partners that want to be associated with your brand. This includes material suppliers but also influences ambassadors looking to use their platform to share good with their personal audience.

Take the time to capture your efforts on video, photo, and writing to share with others.  Free PR is great PR, and philanthropic causes fall into the bucket of what people crave to see. 

3. Company culture will thrive.

A cycle of mutual giving creates a higher level of engagement and sparks deeper levels of passion at work. Employees will feel more valued as a result of perceiving themselves as givers and will be more dedicated to the company mission you have created.

Employees are motivated by giving and will find the workplace more fulfilling in a giving environment.

It is not a requirement or a civic duty to offer things to others. However giving back campaigns make your company more attractive to consumers, other businesses and prospective employees.

Giving comes in many forms and the more forms it takes on, the more connected your mission and consumers will become.

Published on: Nov 21, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.