Whether we like it or not, we have to share our lives with brands. Just look around any room in your home and you’ll see hundreds of them. But how many of the brands in your life do you really love?
How many do you whole-heartedly stand behind and support because they are making a difference? How many cannot simply be replaced by another?
According to Havas Media’s Meaningful Brands Survey, the majority of people worldwide wouldn’t care if 73 percent of all brands disappeared tomorrow. That’s not saying much about the companies selling products to the world’s consumers. It’s human instinct to always want better, and right now in the world, better means more than pumping out widgets at the lowest cost.
Our collective social conscience is rising and we are smarter and more aware of the way companies operate. However, in the same Havas Media survey, only 20 percent of brands worldwide are seen as making a meaningful positive impact on people’s lives. Why the disconnect? Maybe because most companies are stuck in the past with business models that can’t make a profit and make the world a better place at the same time.
The Power of Optimism
The Life is good Company is not like most others. Its model is based on a vision of a better future. It is a defender of hope and a champion of generosity. Not only is its mission to spread the power of optimism, but 10 percent of all proceeds are given to The Life is good Playmakers Foundation – an accredited charity committed to creating a world where all children grow up feeling safe, loved, and joyful.
“It doesn’t matter what you’re doing for this company, you’re helping kids,” said John Jacobs, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Optimist at The Life is good Company.
Twenty years ago John and his brother Bert were selling t-shirts out of a van. One day they decided to put a put a picture of Jake, the company’s smiling stick-figure mascot, on some shirts with three powerful words, “Life is good.” Demand for Jake and his cheerful message spread like wildfire. Now the company generates about $100 million across four major distribution channels, has 250 enthusiastic employees, and is a beacon of light shining on the community of Boston and beyond.
Life is good is all about joy, but it takes its business seriously. That’s because more growth and efficiency means more time and money to put into its charity, festivals, and community support efforts. A perfect example is the Boston Love campaign. After the Boston Marathon bombing, Life is good was able to quickly respond with a new line of shirts that allowed people to show their love and support for the victims of the bombing and give 100 percent of the proceeds to One Fund Boston.
“We have grown from a company that simply ships t-shirts to a company that cares to be involved in the community,” said Keith Campbell, Director of Distribution Operations at The Life is good Company.
Efficiency Enables Generosity
To ensure the company runs smoothly and efficiently Life is good relies on business software from SAP. “Life is good is using SAP as our ERP system from material creation all the way through to our distribution and invoicing. We couldn’t run without it,” said Courtney O’Keefe, VP of Supply Chain at The Life is good Company.
Life is good’s business partners are also happy with the increased level of accuracy and efficiency achieved in the business. “We just launched a new season and 100 percent of our early-order program orders shipped with 100 percent fill rate. That’s the first time we’ve ever done that. The response from our customers has been tremendous. They’re happier and we are saving money in the process,” said Campbell.
The SAP Apparel and Footwear application was a great fit for Life is good. The industry-specific solution only took 26 weeks to implement and awarded benefits everywhere from the warehouse to sales. “We used to shut our warehouse down for an entire week to do a physical count. With SAP we don’t have to shut our warehouse down at all,” said Kevin Scheeler, Director of IT at The Life is good Company. Even the shipping time for orders taken during peak season has been cut from five days to one.
By eliminating complexity inside the company, Life is good can focus on its greater mission outside the company. “We knew buying the right systems would simplify our business and that’s what we got in spades from SAP,” said Jacobs.
Simplification is never simple in business but that is what it takes to free up the time and resources required to be a business the world doesn’t want to live without.
To learn more about how Life is good simplified its business check out this video.
Photo: Life is good