by Tim Craven

How can we do more work for clients that positively impact people and the planet? 

The Good Profit Pledge is our way of exploring how to do more for the right kind of businesses at the right price.

What is The Good Profit Pledge?

For the past year, as we’ve rebranded Novoda, we’ve been talking a lot about our mission as a business: to make more good things happen in the world.

We’ve been asking ourselves, as a mobile product engineering company, how do we do that? What does ‘digital good’ look like? What makes a ‘good’ project? How do we know whether a company is a ‘good’ client?

We’re still figuring that out. What we do know is that, ultimately, our goal as a business is to do more good than harm in the world – and a big part of that is ensuring our profit comes from businesses with the same commitment.

That’s why we’ve made The Good Profit Pledge. Ideally, we want 100% of our profits to come from ‘good’ business (and we’ll keep working towards that) – but for 2023, our goal is to make sure that 40% of our profits come from projects that have a net positive impact on people and the planet. 

Good Profit Pledge earth

How do we plan to make ‘good’ profit?

1. Telling the right story

This year, we’ve focused on telling the right story about Novoda and ensuring every member of our team can confidently and clearly articulate our purpose, vision and mission:

  • Our purpose is to create digital good.
  • Our vision is a world where digital creates more good (than bad) for everyone.
  • Our mission is to invest our time and energy in creating as much good as possible.

2. Walking our ‘good’ talk

Knowing what we stand for and why we exist as a business enables us to consciously align every action we take – and every story we tell – with our purpose: creating digital good

We feel empowered to start conversations with the people who want to work with us AND who will help us further our mission and move closer towards our vision: good clients with good projects.

3. Being honest 

We’ve worked on a lot of ‘good’ projects in the past – and we’ve also worked on less good projects. We don’t ever want to ‘purpose-wash’ our communications, we want to be honest about where we are and take our partners and clients on the journey with us.

We aren’t perfect. Businesses don’t have to be perfect to work with us. As long as we’re all striving to be better, that’s what counts.

4. Not making assumptions

We’ve done a huge amount of research and as a team, we’re happy with the language and positioning we’ve landed on for Novoda 2.0 – but we aren’t assuming we’ve got it 100% right.

We know we’re only at the start of our conversations with new potential partners and clients and – while we believe we’re going in the right direction – we’re open to feedback and willing to make changes where we need to.

What makes a ‘good’ digital project?

We’ve always tried to be a conscious agency and most work we’ve done has been ‘net neutral’ – not causing any harm or damage. Now, we need to identify the ‘net positive’ projects open to us and focus on winning more of them.

In the past, we’ve been subjective about what makes a project ‘good’ – and we’re still working on how we can define ‘good’ in a more objective way. As a starting point, we’re asking ourselves:

  • Do we see positive value in what this company does?
  • Do their products and services have a net positive impact on people and the planet?
  • Does their company culture and values align with ours?
  • Who is the leadership team and what do they stand for?
  • Will this project impassion and challenge our team?
  • How does this business serve its clients?
Illustration of two hands making a shadow puppet bird

These questions are already enabling us to have the right conversations as a team when it comes to new business. As a result, we’ve turned away projects we know aren’t right for us and the direction we’re heading. Knowing when to say no is equally as important as knowing when to say yes. One of the most fulfilling projects we’ve worked on this year is The Body Coach App, which won Best App of 2022 in the Google Play Awards. Joe Wicks is a brilliant example of someone who’s working to make his own part of the world better – and we loved being involved in that.

Doing good takes courage

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”

Max De Pree

We feel confident in our brand story and the language we’re using and passionate about the direction we want to take Novoda, but now we need to validate our assumptions. We still have so many questions, and a lot to learn. 

From a commercial perspective, we still aren’t sure what we can charge for ‘good’ projects that make a positive impact. What funding is out there for projects like this? Will we need to drop our rates to meet available budgets? Is our good profit target even viable? 

We hope so. And we know we’ll only find out by being courageous – trying, failing (or winning!) and learning from it. We might fail, but we’d certainly rather try and fail than not try at all. 

Clapping hands

Will you take The Good Profit Pledge in 2023?

Corporations are the biggest polluters in the world and the environmental impact of the digital age is huge.

We’d love to see every agency taking The Good Profit Pledge, collectively putting pressure on all businesses to do better.

We know how easy it can be to say yes to the wrong projects when you’re feeling shareholder pressure and need to fill a revenue gap. We know how easy it is to fall into the trap of saying ‘next time we’ll do better’ – but we need to do better now.

If we’re going to create a truly GOOD future, we need to break this cycle. We don’t have all the answers yet, and we can’t find them alone. 

We need businesses like yours to take the pledge and join the movement.

If you want to join us and help shape what The Good Profit Pledge looks like, sign up below, and we’ll be in touch.

Get in touch via our contact form