If Darth Vader was an entrepreneur, what business would he own? Would it be a cable company? A cell phone carrier? A pharmaceutical company?

Darth would make it his passion to take advantage of you. He’d create policies that wouldn’t just frustrate you, they’d anger you. He would pollute the environment and promote products that could poison, or even kill you. And he would revel in it.

…While Darth Vader is a fictional character, the concept of “Vader Enterprises” isn’t far-fetched.

Many businesses boast incredible profits, but the question needs to be asked: does their strategy apply long-term, and who are they really benefiting?

What if companies actually cared about their customers instead? We're in luck... many do. 

In the USA, CVS pharmacies boldly removed cigarettes from their stores, risking billions in sales. It was a courageous move (that was viewed as potentially career-killing for the CEO), but it was truly reflective of who they are – a health store. 

And it paid off: CVS saw an increase in revenue of nearly 10%, and their profits went up by 4.3%. 

Companies like Starbucks, Apple, Trader Joes, Enterprise Rent A Car, Costco, and of course Virgin have made it their business to look after their customers (and their employees) with care and respect.

They honour the customer experience and focus on how they can best serve… and it’s paying off big time. 

Here are some examples:

  • Complaints at Apple stores are handled by the store managers, who call customers to make things right. It’s a costly and time consuming practice, yet Apple has reported that for each hour their managers spend on the phone, they generate an additional $1,000 in sales. The bottom line...? Loving your customer isn’t just nice, it’s smart business.
  • Today, I rented a car from Enterprise Rent A Car. When I entered the lot to pick up my car, I was cheerfully greeted by someone who introduced himself, handed me his business card and gave me an orientation to the car itself: I was treated like a valued human. That’s a far cry from the average car rental company, isn’t it? Enterprise is now the largest car rental company in the world and it’s not hard to see why.
  • Even Starbucks shows their customer love when they furnish their stores. Their corporate-owned stores are outfitted with round tables, as they’ve discovered that customers don’t feel lonely if they’re sitting at a round table by themselves.
  • When I workout at my local Virgin Active gym in Bangkok, gym management treat me like family, not like member #703452.
  • When you buy a pair of Tom’s Shoes, another pair is given away to a child that needs it. Tom’s earned over $250 million in profits in 2013.

So what does this mean to you?

Firstly, if you’re a consumer, you can breathe a sigh of relief that hope is not lost. There’s a growing trend of “enlightened” businesses that is revolutionising the old, poverty-conscious way of doing things. More and more, business owners and management are learning that nice guys CAN finish first!

In that spirit, I’ve invited some of the brightest minds on the planet to come together in transformational digital experience next week to celebrate the concept of Love in Business. 

We’re calling it “World Love Week”, and you’re invited to join us! You can access all of the sessions from your computer, smartphone or tablet, and learn how some of the world’s most successful corporations create raving fans – all by showing they care – and how you can model it in your own business. You’ll also learn how to measure the effect of your client-centric strategy, so you can focus on the things that are working best for you.

Of course, we’ll provide strategies to set yourself up for “Inner Success” so that you can make your new or existing business fun again and make the impact you’ve been planning from the very beginning.

But if you can’t wait until next week, join us right now and you’ll get to attend the broadcast absolutely free as our guest!

The best part however, is that 20% of the profits from the event will go towards helping young entrepreneurs from around the world to build their businesses.

We believe that this is the best way to put Darth Vader out of business…and actually give us a chance to create peace for future generations.

Visit www.WorldLoveWeek.com for all the details and secure your complimentary spot!

-By Ken Krell. Ken is the Founder and Executive Director of The Institute for TotalPreneurship™ and producer of World Love Week™. His mission is to help entrepreneurs become “TotalPreneurs™”. Join him for World Love Week™— it starts on Sunday February 8th!

- This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details.