Music creates an instant connection by using the very mutual understanding of some universal emotions and themes. Among all the skills in the world, singing and dancing are most likely the two skills everyone does no matter how skilled, or unskilled, they may be. Music is centered on expression and transferring energy.
Around the world, there are people who navigate life managing a blocker of that energy transfer. Hearing impairment is a blocker that disrupts the joy of music. Beyond the fact that the vibrations of music can still be felt, the sensation of listening to sound is different. Society arrived at a point where technology can assist people in hearing sound, like the use of hearing aids. A plan to connect this technology with people who would find it most useful became a new focus in social good.
In this series, called ALL Ways, we’ll grow to know social enterprises by their charming points. We say “charming” to refer to branding and approaches that help us see another way to manage social entrepreneurship. We’ll also suggest ways to interact or use these charming points in our own involvements with social enterprise (personally and professionally).
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise interaction and engagement.
In today’s post, we look into the whole new world of LSTN sharing sound around the world. LSTN sells audio technology, mainly headphones, to fund gifts toward bettering hearing impairment.
Knowing the company: LSTN
Years ago, co-founders Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff saw someone in a pivotal moment of their life. In this situation, the person spent their entire life without sounds, and that moment Bridget and Joe saw was the person hearing their voice for the first time. This left a deep impact on the duo, and led to the creation of the social enterprise LSTN. As a company, LSTN obsesses over quality sound and technology.
LSTN usually sales the following:
Up until this point, the initiative currently reports that they helped more than 30,000 people to receive hearing aids across the globe. LSTN is able to connect their audio technology with the correct audience through a charity partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Trips across the globe transfer the social impact as LSTN and the Starkey Hearing Foundation
What Surprised Us
Corporate gifting is available through LSTN. The concept of corporate gifting is not new, but an item as classic as headphone makes a great present. An option to do corporate gifting is listed on the official website’s menu. If it was important enough to place on the menu of the site, LSTN must be seeing good engagement from that portion of the initiative. By providing a clear suggestion of how to engage with LSTN, the audience will have less friction during the earliest interactions.
This initiative takes interactions very seriously, which would explain the reason that there are real teams going to real locations to deliver hearing aids. LSTN also teams up with other corporations to help spread social impact and audio technology. The initiative prepared a video of the teamwork between their efforts, a partner corporation, and the Starkey Hearing Foundation:
“Team LSTN went to Peru with Delta Air Lines and Starkey Hearing Foundation to help over 1,000 people receive hearing aids.”
On the official website, you’ll find that LSTN lists a specific page for selling merchandise, which benefits the amount of trips they can support. The merchandise is not all audio-related; when you visit the page, you’ll see items such as t-shirts and hats. Selling merchandise is a classic move for most entrepreneurs. Whether a project is a social enterprise or not, selling merchandise is one of the first methods people have to connect with their audience.
What is the benefit for good
Here, we see a good example of not needing a complex business model, or a new idea, to cultivate impact for a cause we care about. LSTN knows their purpose and the priority of their mission as they continue to travel the world and connect with new partners. Since the initiative contains a clear focus, the social enterprise is able to do the actions that would push the needle from.
When social entrepreneurs become very clear of their mission, all other aspects start to fall in place. Seeing LSTN is a great reminder to keep efforts moving forward toward a new goal (it’s okay to rest in-between). It also doesn’t hurt that the designs or the audio technology are actually stylish designs.
We like to encourage actively participating with positive initiatives. Each person making their own choice to participate adds up! Whether you engage for fun, inspiration, or expression, here are our suggestions for engaging this initiative:
- Create a playlist to share and groove to the music with your LSTN headphones.
- Purchase a set of headphones as a gift for a close friend or relative
- Consider doing corporate gifting in partnerships.
- Read through LSTN’s Impact Report to view the results and changes they recorded from around 2014-2018.
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community are a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check in for more conversation-starting content.
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