Could you describe your organisation and the work you perform?
MOTIF is a Wellington-based global business advisory firm that uses ethics as a strategic lens. We develop competitive new business models and strategies to drive revenue and market growth while improving people’s lives, expanding biodiversity, protecting and renewing our environment. Our strategies enable ethical companies to outperform.
What are the core values of your organisation?
Powerful change – we believe that the deepest change starts with people believing that things can’t stay as they are.
Deep compassion – when people feel deeply for others and about the world of others, they look for ways to make every difference they can.
Sincere optimism – there is so much happening in the world that gives us hope and motivates us to believe that great days are ahead.
Consistent improvement – we know that change takes time. We are there for the long haul.
How would you describe the profile of your (prospective) audience and customer?
Our primary focus is in the FMCG sector. We work with the leaders of ambitious companies who are looking to make well-informed strategic decisions that have a positive global impact.
They share a deep common ethos with their customers who are looking for brands that are ‘doing good’.
Our business leaders want to drive revenue whilst improving people’s lives, expanding biodiversity, protecting and renewing the environment.
We connect them with charities or suppliers that have a direct connection with that business, or business model, and will enable them to deliver these benefits.
How do you currently engage your (prospective) audience and customer?
To date it has been through reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations, spread by the organisations we have worked with.
We are planning to play a more active role in celebrating and advocating the community of people leading successful businesses who are transforming the way the world does business.
For this we will be using public speaking and events as a platform to showcase the community of incredible businesses, the people within them, their approaches and the global impacts that they are having.
How do you bring together parties and help them find their match?
Ethics and competitiveness are not mutually exclusive. Our strategies enable ethical companies to outcompete.
The prevailing approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are disconnected from business strategy. CSR can be more than a cost, constraint or charitable deed; it can be an opportunity and a competitive advantage. We look to connect organisations that can provide mutual benefit through their business models and strategies.
Our work with the Wellington Chocolate Factory, for example, which sources beans from Papua New Guinea, has resulted in money going into projects to up-skill supplier employees or into programmes around gender and equality.
For other clients this could mean linking them with a company that does better carbon offsetting and does plantings, for example.
Could you describe the value shared and received beyond the dollars?
Our clients benefit hugely from these projects in terms of brand reputation, exposure and awareness. Research consistently shows that if you’re seen as an ethical business, or as doing good, your customers are far more likely to recommend you. Also some segments of the market, such as Generation Y’ers, are far more likely to purchase products they think of as ethical.
There are also benefits around looking after the people from whom ingredients are being sourced. We have found if they are being empowered and given autonomy then they will also look after the produce. This process allows our clients to deliver better products and outperform competitors. It also improves metrics such as return of goods.
Benefits for us include meeting some really cool people who inspire us, and hanging out with an informed and vibrant community that are aware and care about the long-term future of our people and planet.
We have the privilege of transforming some of the current injustices of the world by taking an integrated approach to business.
Directly, through the way we do business, we get to play a role in: reducing domestic violence; improving gender diversity; reducing poverty; improving the health of our young people; renewing and protecting the environment; and improving the quality of our soils, our waters and the food we eat.
Disclosure: Brian likes the cut of MOTIF’s jib. His son Luke is the biggest chocolate Wellington Chocolate fan in their home.