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What Are Impact Brands and Why Are We Obsessed With Them?

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Written by Flying Saucer Studio

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If you hadn’t noticed, the times are certainly a-changing.

In almost every industry, companies are waking up to the fact that consumers are different today than they were just a decade ago. Today, people expect more from the brands they buy from. They expect a certain level of empathy, compassion, and a commitment to the social good.

In other words, they expect companies to be making a positive impact on the world. And we couldn’t be any more on board with that.

At Flying Saucer, we’ve recently begun reexamining our values.

We’ve realized that while we’ve always loved working with socially-conscious startups, it’s time to make that unmistakably and abundantly clear. Moving forward, at the heart of everything we do, will be a commitment to one thing… impact.

The world is changing. Here’s how we’re changing with it.

But first… a little history.

Since the beginning, we’ve always looked to work with clients that inspire us. We love helping clients that love helping others, but until recently we didn’t have a name for that special category of clientele.

What’s more, in the past we’ve often found ourselves striving to be like those companies we admire so much. For example, in hiring we look to help new team members grow professionally, make a better living than they ever have before, and work in whatever way suits them best (we’re a remote-first agency). Essentially, we’ve always emphasized working in a way that matches the good intentions of the clients we enjoy working with the most.

But we haven’t ever taken the time to think about what that means. Or better yet, what to call that approach to business.

Which is why today, we’re making a loud, public statement about who we are as an agency. And, more importantly, what it is we stand for.

From now on, we’ll only be working with impact brands.

We’re completely refocusing our process — one that is tried, tested and true — towards companies that are honing in on helping others. Additionally, we’re going to be going over our entire business with a fine-toothed comb, looking for ways that we as a company can do more for the world, be it reducing our carbon footprint as individual employees, or looking at our business practices to make any improvement we can.

We’ll talk about that in a minute. But first, let’s explain what makes someone a client we want to work with.

What is an impact brand?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, plenty of companies are beginning to adopt a more impact-centered business model. It’s just the way the world is moving— and for good reason!

So what does that mean? What does an impact brand look like? Well for us, there’s three things we always look for before signing a new client:

  1. Positive Influence
    Impact Brands have a positive effect on the world - whether it’s using the newest technology to improve access to hearing aids, affordable healthcare, or eco-friendly fashion. They’re trying to solve a unique problem that helps specific their communities, and the planet, in a measurable way.

  2. Ethics
    Impact Brands understand that everyone has a role to play in creating a better world. They think about their business practices and evaluate whether or not they’re sustainable, they make equitable hiring decisions, and they view new products or services through a people-centered lens.

  3. Innovation
    The above two points are mandatory - they’re in the DNA of the company. This third one is the icing on the cake, but we find that the companies who have the potential to make the biggest impact, are the ones with a focus on finding truly creative solutions to the worlds’ biggest problems.

That all sounds great in theory right? But what does it look like in the real world? Impact brands come in all shapes and sizes, but here’s a great example of what we’re talking about: the 10 Coolest Startups We Met at Web Summit 2019.

The new Spotlight section will be full of examples of brands that inspire us to be better. Which is important. Because as we continue down this path, there are a lot of things we’re doing ourselves in order to have a bigger impact.

Putting our money where our mouth is.

We’re not interested in simply talking the talk— we’re here to walk the walk.

As we push forward with this transition to becoming an impact agency, we’re going to be making a few major changes. Right now, we’re immediately launching two new initiatives to help us make good on our commitment to impact:

  1. THE IMPACT GUARANTEE

    What is it?

    Our new Impact Guarantee, offered to every new client, states that if Flying Saucer fails to make a measurable, positive impact on their business within 30 days… all our work is free. They can keep any and all deliverables we’ve provided without paying a cent.

    Why are we doing it?

    By offering the Guarantee, we’re holding ourselves accountable. If we can’t quickly drive measurable change — change that will make all of the difference for you and your business, then we have no business calling ourselves an Impact Agency.

  2. THE IMPACT GRANT

    What is it?
    Startups with a great idea are often handicapped by a lack of funding and resources. In fact, 29% of startups who don’t make it past their first year note that it was a lack of funding that sunk the ship. We want to eliminate that roadblock by offering up to $10,000 in services. This can mean design, branding, marketing, or any of the other services we offer.

    Why are we doing it?

    If you’ve got a plan to change the world, nothing should stand in your way. We’d like to help you launch your brand without worrying about your budget. Sound good? Learn more!

 

These two initiatives are up and running right now! In the coming months, we’ll be working through new ideas to become a more impact-centered agency. Here’s how…

Where do we go from here?

Listen, we’re not perfect.

Now that we’ve completely rewritten our playbook to focus 100% on impact, we’re realizing that there’s plenty more we could be doing. In the future, we’ll be working on:

  • Reducing our carbon footprint.
  • Changing our hosting and service providers to more sustainable companies.
  • Partnering with impact funds and VC’s to connect with our community/clients.
  • Helping clients with recruitment and building remote teams.
  • Continuing to scout for clients who are changing the world.

We’ll continue to update this blog anytime we introduce a new impact initiative or change our business in a way that benefits humanity. For now, feel free to follow us on Twitter to get real-time updates on our commitment to impact. Better yet, feel free to slide into our DMs and give us your best ideas on how to maximize our impact!

P.S. If there’s a company that you know that has an amazing idea and could use some support, share this with them and tell them to get in touch. We’d love to learn more about them and how we can help!

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