Making Good Cool with Afdhel Aziz

Reading Time: 3 minutes


I read Good is the New Cool: Market Like You Give a Damn by Afdhel Aziz five years ago. And let me tell ya – reading his book lit a FIRE inside of me to work for purpose-driven organizations full-time. 

Afdhel joins us on today’s show to talk about how more and more people are looking for purpose in their work – and how more and more companies are adding meaning to their missions. In fact, purpose-driven consumers will even pay a 35% price premium on a product, “voting” with their wallets AND their values. You’ll hear how to win over these conscious consumers.

Afdhel is an absolutely amazing teacher, author, and speaker, and his wisdom is extremely applicable, (especially about stories), which he says is a nonprofit’s “greatest currency” to get people to care!

Sneak Peek:

In This Episode:

  • How Afdhel’s 20-year career in brand management was shaken during a trip back home to Sri Lanka for his brother’s wedding (the country was hit by the 2004 tsunami!)
  • Winning over conscious consumers who want to buy from brands who care about big issues – and why this can be the lynchpin in them choosing YOU over someone else
  • Why stories are the greatest asset you have as a nonprofit – plus, the different layers of purpose according to Afdhel (brand purpose, corporate purpose and individual purpose)
  • What brands have learned from nonprofits, and what nonprofits need to learn from successful brands
  • How to attain employees who want meaning and purpose in their work (and how companies are painting a bigger picture when attracting talent)
  • Why nonprofits and brands need to stop hating on each other and instead, learn together to help solve the world’s problems

Notable Quotes from Afdhel

“We’ve all got to stop pointing fingers at each other. Nonprofits need to stop pointing fingers at brands and going, ‘You’re evil, and you’re just doing this for the money.’ Brands need to stop pointing fingers at nonprofits, going, ‘You guys are inefficient, and you guys should have solved the problem years ago.’ Both of them need to stop pointing fingers at governments going, ‘You’re fat, you’re bloated, blah, blah, blah.’ Listen. The problems of the world are so complex. It is going to take an ‘all of the above’ solution.”

“On December 26, I woke up completely safe and unharmed in Colombo, the capital city, but to news that there was this devastating tsunami that had hit the entire country. Hit the whole of Asia in fact. Tens of thousands of people died on one day. That was a pretty epic crack in my universe. I did the best I could when I was there to help people on the ground, like every other Sri Lankan. Getting food, getting clothing, helping people pick up their lives. And then, at a certain point, I had to go back to London and continue my job. I was sitting there going, what the hell am I doing? Photoshoots and marketing and stuff – it was like, nothing I do can help those people.”

Resources & Links

Check out Afdhel’s podcast, Good is the New Cool (and his favorite “fun” podcast, The Rewatchables) and his books, Good is the New Cool: Market Like You Give a Damn and Good is the New Cool: The Principles of Purpose

To learn more and to get in touch with Afdhel, you can visit his website or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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