Your Business Partnerships Communicate your Values

Board & Advisory services for middle market, technology companies
Nike chose Colin Kaepernick as a branding partner. Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Nike was making a values statement to their customers and to their employees. Controversial to many. Clear to the audience they wanted to reach.
Lizanne Kindler, CEO of Talbots, recently described a partnership the woman’s clothing retailer has developed with Dress for Success to project an important values statement meaningful to their customers and associates. Dress for Success is non-profit working worldwide to prepare woman to successfully enter the workforce with proper clothing, coaching, and support.

According to Kindler, their customers and particularly their millennial customers are asking, does this company’s values align with my values?

Talbots’ customers can donate clothes to Dress for Success at their local stores. Each spring and fall, Talbots creates a clothing collection with a portion of their revenues going to Dress for Success. O Magazine promotes the line through their publications. The result: a large increase in online and in-store traffic.
Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success, says the partnership with Talbots has been an important strategic relationship as they have grown from a small New York non-profit helping women move out of poverty with clothing suitable for work. We want success for Talbots because that means success for us.

As business leaders, we often think about marketing and competition in terms of prices and features. Equally important is what we say about who we are. What are the values that our customers associate themselves with when they buy our product or service?

What are the partnerships you can form to communicate your values as an organization and improve your chances for success as a company?
Here’s looking at you, kid.
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One comment on “Your Business Partnerships Communicate your Values”

  1. Rick,

    I happened to be at the same event you described above at the Commonwealth Avenue Harvard Club site. I was struck by the transparency of both speakers comments and how valuable the relationship between Talbots and Dress for Success has become for each. Too many organizations write a check for worthy non profits (which is certainly helpful) but Talbots has gotten its entire organization behind the partnership which is truly changing the lives of countless women each year for the better.

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