Having a mission at the core of your business does not come without obstacles. It can be challenging, for example, to prioritize service while also driving the company’s growth. On the other hand, a goal to create positive change can bring your employees together and serve as motivation, said Amanda Baldwin, the CEO of sunscreen company Supergoop, at Inc.’s Purpose Power Summit on Tuesday.
Supergoop’s mission is to encourage daily sunscreen wear. Founder Holly Thaggard realized people were undervaluing sunscreen after a friend was diagnosed with skin cancer at the age of 29. Further research led her to the discovery that 84 percent of people don’t wear sunscreen every day, so she started Supergoop in 2007 with the goal of making the practice cool.
That mission, Baldwin said, is at the forefront of everything Supergoop does, providing clarity and direction in decision-making. “Educating on why SPF [is important] will always be at the beginning,” she said. “We may get to a point where it’s as obvious as brushing your teeth or wearing a seatbelt, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
At the same time, Supergoop sells a premium product, an aspect of the brand that might seem to undercut the goal of universal sunscreen wear. The key to reconciling that, Baldwin said, is developing philanthropic initiatives that further the mission. In 2008, for example, Supergoop launched a program called Ounce by Ounce, which advocates for sunscreen use in schools and provides free sunscreen to students around the country.
“We have a lot of work and a really big mission, and nothing happens overnight,” Baldwin said. “We sort of chip away at things and chip away at our mission.”