Last November we told the story of MiiR bottles and bikes; in our post we raved about their great design and commitment to tremendous social good. The reality is that I was a bit overwhelmed as I dug deeper into MiiR; this company wasn’t trying to do a bit of social good, it was trying to do a significant amount to make the world a better place.
As I researched the post it became evident that I couldn’t cover all that MiiR was trying to accomplish in a single blog post, even the 1500+ type we usually run here at ArCompany. I get to write about all sorts of wonderful companies on this series, but this one was special and I couldn’t stop thinking about what they were trying to do.
I was so intrigued by what MiiR was about that I reached out to Bryan Pape, MiiR’s founder, and set up a Google Hangout to learn more about this passionate entrepreneur and the company he founded as they set out to change the world. It was obvious that the company deserved more attention, so I decided to run an update on where they are at today.
More MiiR Built Wells Are Changing Lives
In speaking to Bryan in almost-real-life via G+, one thing I’d surmised was confirmed; his company was a reflection of his passion, not just to make great products that work, but to make people’s lives better. There is nothing fluffly about MiiR’s social good foundation – they chose bringing water to those without because it is perhaps the single greatest life changing thing they can accomplish.
When I wrote about MiiR back in November I told you about a life changing experience Bryan Pape had when he went to Liberia in early 2011. There Pape witnessed people without access to clean drinking water being forced to rely instead on copper colored, contaminated water. That trip led to the construction of 2 wells built in Liberia funded by MiiR.
Today, only a short 3 months later, MiiR is responsible for 12 wells that will provide clean water and sanitation to some of the world’s most needy.
MiiR’s Growler is Almost Ready to Ship
Back in November MiiR was just closing the funding stage for their brand new Growler, having earned $49K with crowd-funding, well over the $30K goal necessary to kick off the product. The product is now set to ship in mid April, and, like all of MiiR’s hydration vessels, for every growler sold water is provided for one person for one year.
MiiR Bikes Continue to Move People
You probably get it by now: Pape thinks big when he thinks about changing lives, so after water, what’s next?
After clean water and sanitation, one of the biggest impediments to economic development in Africa is transportation,
To this date MiiR has given away 150 Bicycles in Africa and the US.
MiiR, Social Media, and Me Chomping at the Bit
Anyone who has managed a social media community knows that it is a lot easier to create engagement and interest if the organization you’re working for has a cause that resonates with people. In the not so distant future ArCompany will be publishing a case study that showcase the difference in effectiveness when a client has a meaningful cause or mission versus one that does not.
The idea that Millennials and even Gen Xers are much more purpose driven in the way they create businesses and consume is no longer a touchy feely ‘idea;’ it is an essential fact to any decision maker or marketer paying attention to business today.
MiiR has the causes marketers dream of… like many young companies growing rapidly, they still aren’t maximizing their potential on social channels. Since we last looked MiiR’s Twitter following has edged up slightly to just over 1300. The social good community that embraces companies like MiiR is incredibly active on Twitter; there is a ton of potential for the company to spread its message quickly there.
MiiR’s Facebook Page is still hovering right around the +25K mark, which is nothing to sneer at, and here they are doing everything right. The page is active, and on it you will find lots of beautiful product images, stories of MiiR partners doing good, as well as announcements of new retail partnerships, such as Crate & Barrel.
The problem for MiiR is the same one every small business now faces with Facebook; you work years to build your following, but the new pay to play system means that most of them won’t see your announcements. Out of the 25,000 followers on their page, only 95 are ‘talking about’ them; this doesn’t mean the followers are uninterested, it means they aren’t seeing MiiR’s posts.
If you know how I think you know what my advice is: don’t build your community on someone else’s real estate. Social media needs to be a channel to your community, and we’d love to see MiiR move that following to their own blog where they can keep connected and share their incredible accomplishments. While they’re at it, they need to connect their YouTube, Instagram and Flickr accounts to their home page (you know I couldn’t resist).
MiiR, and Companies Like Them, WILL Change the World
If you’ve ever listened to Bill Gates talk about his optimism for the future based on the actions of small groups and individuals changing the world, you’ll see that Bryan Pape and the folks at MiiR are exactly the kind of people he is speaking of. The world of social media is often one of cynicism and gloom. Too many stories of abject evil and hopelessness are brought our way via social channels.
But if you look harder you’ll see that social media is also the conduit for a purpose driven movement that is changing the world. A few weeks ago I wrote about Teatulia, a company doing business very differently in an industry that is deeply challenged. The week after that I blogged about HUMAN Healthy Vending disrupting the junk food filled vending industry.
Changes are happening right before our eyes, but they’re not being driven by our political leaders. Instead they are being driven by people like Byan Pape and companies like MiiR: for profit businesses that are founded on social good. As our politicians bicker over how to fix things, they are going ahead and getting it done.
VP of Content & Strategy at ArCompany. She has an extensive background in Sales, and focuses on generational marketing and content. With Hessie Jones she founded ArCompany’s Millnnnial, GenX and Boomer Think Tanks and writes and speaks on those topics from an insights/strategy perspective.