People may not say it out loud, but sometimes I know they are thinking it. What’s heart got to do with business? Especially when I’m talking with marketing directors or corporate VPs who have been trained to believe that great brands, and therefore great businesses, are built by the numbers. Well, there is no doubt that numbers in business are important. I’m a business owner; we track the numbers to be sure. But as a business owner, and a former employee of several companies, I know that the way to create a really great company—one that consistently delivers great numbers—is by making sure you are a company with heart. Don’t believe me?
The next funny look I get, particularly from the run-and-gun, tough entrepreneurial types happens when I say great companies have heart. They immediately think that heart means soft, cuddly, weak or loving. In business, it generally means none of those words. When I say a company with heart, I mean a company that has fire, intensity for what they are doing and more importantly, why they are doing it. It’s a company with a higher purpose and an unstoppable, unflappable drive to achieve it.
I’ve found most companies have some heart, but they keep it hidden like it’s too embarrassing or too unimportant to reveal. How strange! Particularly when you look at the truly great companies, the ones that have either broken through or redefined their industries. What do they have in common? Most often it is heart. Google, Apple, Patagonia, Whole Foods, Oprah, these are just a few of the great brands with heart. In fact, heart is precisely how they got to the top.
But what are the other benefits of creating, building and running a heart-based company? There are a lot, but when you read these, you’ll understand why heart is more than a ‘nice-to-have.” You’ll find out why heart is the precursor to success.
- Heart-based companies attract the best talent – more and more today, people don’t want to work for the heartless corporate behemoth. Even though there might be a lucrative corporate ladder, the sacrifice of self and values along the way isn’t worth it. Companies that can provide a values-based career path secure the best talent for less. And the better the talent, the better the results.
- Heart means higher purpose which means more productive employees – it’s true, when people are on a mission, they will care more, they work harder and they will produce more. Companies with heart have employees that produce well beyond the norm.
- Heart-based companies have more buzz – wouldn’t it be great if other people did most of the horn-tooting for you? How nice it would be. Well, heart-based companies, when compared to ordinary mind-based companies, tend to connect better and more often with the people they serve. And as people, we tend to talk about what and who we like. That’s buzz.
- Heart-based companies have more loyal customers – you’ve probably heard it costs more to get a new customer or client than it does to sell more to the ones you have. The good news is that when you and your employees deliver your product or service with heart, the people you serve tend to stick around. That’s good for business.
- Heart-based companies are more valuable – a brand that is heart based has a certain magic that makes the overall company more valuable. You probably know that the greatest asset a company can have is its brand, and when created and managed with heart, your brand can bring you millions when its time to sell your company. Summer home in Tuscany, anyone?
More qualified and more productive employees, a company that generates more buzz, has more loyal customers, that sells more and in the end is more valuable as a brand? Those benefits are nothing to laugh at. In fact, companies that are doing what they do with heart are laughing at the naysayers all the way to the bank. And leaders who have cashed out big are raising their glasses and saying, “To our competitors, thank you for being so heartless! Cheers!”
What is branding? Heart & Mind® Branding.