The Idea: “There are lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there is only one good one: to change the world.”   That was the idea that opened the third annual New General Market Summit, co-produced by Drug Store News & Mack Elevation, April 3, 2017 in Minneapolis.  Many of the top global and emerging brands in health and beauty were in attendance. They were companies of impact, influence, and creativity, fueled by cause before profit; yet growing at rates dwarfing many of their larger competitors.  

If you are looking to inspire your team at your next staff meeting, remind them of these “ideas that matter.”   

Soul Cannot Be Outsourced   Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method & Olly Nutrition shared that his organizations have a thoughtful balance of “Artists” and “Operators.”   Today’s consumer demands imaginative products and design thinking with customer service precision.   Eric shared, “we do our own design work internally.  The soul cannot be outsourced.  The bigger we get, the smaller we act.”  

Innovation is a Souvenir   Ryan also reminded the audience “your product innovation is a souvenir of your corporate culture.”   Vibrant, creative cultures (by their nature) will birth interesting, relevant products that appeal to the heart of the consumer.  Creative, healthy organizations release inspirational innovations.  New ideas are a bi-product of culture.

Retailers Are the Other Part of the Brain   Daniel Duty, CEO of Conlego Consulting and former Target executive, shared that all early stage innovation concepts must be discussed with retailers even when they are still in their initial concept phase. It’s a necessity.  “Retailers are the other part of the brain,” reminded Daniel.  “Providing early concepts and many options improves your batting average on your new item introductions.”  

Best Friend Brands Most people only have five “Best Friend Brands” – companies from which they will repeatedly open emails and buy products.  In contrast, Harvard researchers determined that organizations fueled by purpose have a significant competitive advantage, delivering six times more to shareholders than profit-driven peers.   Rich Dennis, CEO of Sundial Brands has proven again that his company is leaving a legacy.  Through their cooperatives in Ghana, they continue to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of so many via innovative business.  Doing good IS good business.

Brands Must Have Soul   John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation declared “Every Brand Must Have a Soul.”  Today’s most admired brands – Starbucks, Kind, Target, Dove, and Harley Davidson have soul.  They articulate a clear, uncompromised mission.  Seventh Generation embraces their own mission.  “To inspire a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations.”  And here’s the good news.  Today’s consumer is energized by and will pay more for soul.  

The “Why” Behind the “Buy What is a brand?  Brands are a blend of reputation, story, promise, relationship, purpose and soul.  It’s the “why” behind the “buy.”  Today’s brands must boldly convey what they stand for and whom they stand with.  Brands will either lead or perish based on their ability to share their views on cultural topics.

The most compelling and meaningful brands today are more than a positive balance sheet; they are increasingly becoming cultural forces for change and impact.   

What’s the purpose of your company?  

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