“To refresh the world…To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…To create value and make a difference.” Do you recognize this promise? It is made by a company we all use products from on a daily basis. Or perhaps this one: “To create a better everyday life for the many people”. These promises are made by Coca Cola and IKEA and should thrive most of their decision making. Thrive the way they bring their products to the market. But if you buy these products, shouldn’t you as a consumer know this? If you want to be able to trust the companies you buy the goods from, should you at least know what the purpose of this company is? For a short recap, please check the elements of trust.
Instead of understanding the promise of companies we focus on the products they deliver. We like to use products without understanding why companies bring them to the market. Companies themselves are also getting attracted to a product or revenue focus instead of a mission focus. Either caused by the business model that gets dominant or following a digital buzz. Especially for companies, following the mission could have such a positive impact, as it aligns the activities within the company where it could benefit from the speed of trust.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Digital transformation and the search for constant revenue growth is pushing organizations to be in a constant change. Google is an example of expanding their scope of what they promise to the market. Where it all started with: Our mission: to organize all information in the world and make it accessible and usable for everyone. they now have a higher-level brand Alphabet where new initiatives and promises can be started.
Another example is the radical change in promise the insurance companies are slowly introducing. Where it all started as an initiative where everybody chips in to make sure we are safe after life changing events. In other words, they made sure you have less worries in exchange for money. They are now introducing more and more services making you aware of all the risks that are threatening your health or belongings.
But once a company is open about changing their promise this can backfire as well. Rabobank focused their mission to solve the world food problem. Growing a better world together. Being the biggest bank in the agricultural sector, this is a mission that fits the background of the company. But the public opinion was ruthless and awarded this mission with the “Liegebeest” award that can be translated to the big liar award.
If we want to build a more sustainable model and start fixing the trust between organizations and its users, we need to start investing time understanding one and another. As a client, don’t just buy the product and rely on a governmental institutions to protect you as a client with for example something like GDPR with regards to privacy. Take the time to understand what thrives the company and if you believe them. Where as an organization, respect your mission and open the dialog with your client in a controlled way if you want to change your promise. It will provide feedback that will accelerate your ambitions on the long run.