Do your vendor relationships align with your brand values?
As we’ve evolved to a more digital-centric world, consumers and employees are holding companies accountable to greater transparency in how and why they do business. This transparency in values and their expression in business practices is increasingly the most important variable in a consumer’s decision to partner with a brand. Shared values build and establish trust, which is key during a time when there’s little customer trust in corporations.
What consumers expect from businesses
Consumers are holding brands to higher standards than the past because there’s an expectation for businesses to do more. In fact, 91% of people want businesses to do more than just make a profit. Companies now need to take an active stance or role in evolving the ecosystems in which they operate. To do this, companies must begin by defining, communicating, and living out their core values.
When companies prioritize making a positive impact beyond their bottom lines, consumers tend to hold them in a more favorable light. Even more impactful to the consumers are the companies whose shared value systems are aligned with their shared value systems – the principles and behaviors that are important to them. 90% of customers are more likely to trust and remain loyal to socially conscious businesses.
If you haven’t yet, it’s important to go through the exercise of defining and documenting your brand values. It’s not enough to document these values only on your website. These values should live and breathe in every aspect of how your company operates – from your internal culture and delivery of your product/service to the vendors you partner with and your customers’ experience. Companies can’t just talk the talk anymore, they have to walk the walk. And you can’t promote living your core values if you don’t partner with vendors that align.
Aligning your vendors with your brand values
Simply put: your vendor network is an extension of your brand values. In order to walk the walk, it’s important to ensure you’re partnering with vendors whose brand values you’d be proud of including as your own. To make sure you’re aligning yourself with the right vendors, here are some tips to finding and selecting partners that support your values and initiatives:
- Look for partners who are transparent
In the age of transparency, it shouldn’t be challenging to find and understand the values of prospective vendors to evaluate how they align with yours. If you’re exploring a partnership with a vendor and they don’t clearly communicate their values or can’t seem to back up the talk with the walk, it’s probably a good sign that they aren’t the best fit.
Ideally, a vendor’s values will clearly be stated on their website. You can also check out their social profiles to see how they’re communicating their values in their posts and about sections. Regardless of where they communicate these values, it’s also a good idea to talk with them directly via a phone call or email about their values and how they live them in their daily business practices. In these conversations, you should look to see if the use similar language to describe their values and if they’re already taking similar action as you.
- Have regular open and honest conversations
Don’t be afraid to have open and honest conversations about where you are and where you’re going as it relates to your brand values and initiatives. It is likely that you’re still working toward achieving what you’ve defined as the ideal state of living your core values, and that’s okay. If you and your vendors have these conversations and can align on how you can both work toward that ideal state together, you can discuss the areas of your impact that can compliment or diverge from one another. Transparency in your values will set you – and them – up for a more successful partnership.
- Continue to hold your partners accountable
Once you’ve selected a vendor, don’t stop having those conversations about how they’re living their brand values and vice versa. It’s important to find partners you can hold accountable and trust to hold you accountable. As part of that accountability, it’s important to maintain consistent periods of evaluation of your vendors to confirm you’re still aligned.
Loop & Tie’s values as a leading gifting solution
Loop & Tie was built to enable gifting that gives back. This stems from our desire to build a regenerative system, one that balances what we’re receiving – from our customers, our employees, and our partners – with what we’re giving back.
We’re focused on giving through ongoing positive impact initiatives in three critical areas of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social.
As the first and only carbon regenerative gifting platform, we are dedicated to putting environmental preservation at the forefront of everything we do. There is always more work we can do to improve our environmental impact, but right now we are focusing on driving environmental sustainability in three ways:
- Through our partnership with Dollar Donation Club, we’re able help plant trees, remove plastic from waterways, and sequester carbon in the atmosphere for every gift shipped through our platform.
- All of the packaging used to ship Loop & Tie gifts is recyclable and sourced from these trusted vendors: noissue, EcoEnclose, MAILERS HQ, and Sticker Mule.
- Our platform fundamentally reduces the waste of unwanted gifts. By offering a digital redemption experience and the option to choose a gift the recipient wants, it’s more likely that they’ll actually keep the gift thus keeping unwanted gifts and materials out of landfills.
In a world of mass produced goods, it can be hard to find unique, stylish, and sophisticated artifacts that are not mass produced. It can be even more difficult to find these artifacts created or produced by historically marginalized communities. We know access to the capital available in corporate gifting budgets can be fundamentally life changing for independent creators, makers, and artisans. That’s why our marketplace is meticulously curated to connect small and artisan makers, women-owned businesses, and BIPOC- and minority-owned businesses with corporate gifting budgets.
This year, 40% of the gifts sent from our platform have been from women-owned businesses, 14% from BIPOC-owned businesses and 33% from small businesses that give back in some way. By choosing to support Loop & Tie, you’re supporting economic equity and sustainability within our local and global economies.
We admire and appreciate the essential role nonprofits play in influencing systems and policies to effect change at every level from a local community to global initiatives. Sometimes the best gifts aren’t physical products at all; they’re the gifts that pay it forward. Loop & Tie offers the option for recipients to use your gift as a charitable donation to a cause that’s in alignment with their values.
We have a wide selection of charitable redemptions available in our collections, including:
- Dollar Donation Club, which helps plant trees and remove plastic from waterways.
- charity: water, which is helping bring clean water to everyone.
- All Hands and Hearts, which helps global communities impacted by disasters.
- Watts of Love, which supplies solar lights to those who live in extreme poverty.
- buildOn, which builds schools in developing countries to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.
- Trees for Future, which helps build vibrant economies, thriving food systems, and a healthier planet by training communities on sustainable land use.
- mothers2mothers, which is focused on improving the health of communities across Africa by employing women living with HIV to serve as Community Health Workers.
We also have the ability to custom add charities to collections for users in our Essentials, Premium, or Enterprise subscriptions.
As you’re evaluating how your values align with the vendors you’re using, we’d love to help you determine if Loop & Tie would be a good gifting solution for your company. If you’re interested in learning more, book a meeting with our team.