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Meaning makes money
Saurabh Sharma, Admap, Shortlisted, Admap Prize 2013
This paper focuses on the importance of purpose to the influence and success of businesses and brands.
This paper focuses on the importance of purpose to the influence and success of businesses and brands. It argues that when they identify a purpose for themselves, they begin to stand for something much bigger, which helps direct strategy. In turn, this purpose creates meaning for both a brand and its consumers, which changes the relationship between them from seller and buyer to giver and receiver. Examples of brands with a purpose are discussed, including P&G's Secret deodorant (purpose: helping women of all ages become more fearless) and Taobao.com, the largest e-business platform in China (purpose: to make any kind of business possible). Brand purpose needs then to be developed into a master idea - or truth - such as Google's "Don't be evil", Nike's 'Just Do It" and Apple's "Think Different". Even if a brand or company does not know its purpose and master idea, it can find it, either by rediscovering its beginnings or by defining itself in the context of current social changes. It concludes with research from Ogilvy and Mather that shows brands with purpose experience higher rates of growth.
The brand: The machine that makes the difference
Andrew Curry and Andy Stubbings, Admap, June 2013, pp. 26-28
This paper argues that the idea of businesses purely chasing shareholder value is a relatively recent and flawed concept and that, on the contrary, brands that also have a social purpose stand out more, engender loyalty and focus on the long-term health of their business.
This paper argues that the idea of businesses purely chasing shareholder value is a relatively recent and flawed concept and that, on the contrary, brands that also have a social purpose stand out more, engender loyalty and focus on the long-term health of their business. A pure profit motive, it contends, leads businesses to look to the past and to look inwards, while those with purpose look to the future and look outside of themselves to the wider operating environment - meaning that a business that seeks to maximise profits as an end in itself is blind to its environment. It outlines three ways that being a 'force for social good' makes a business more successful: it inspires people to work there and gives them a sense of purpose; it makes businesses stand out to consumers in otherwise mundane categories; and it helps a business take a longer-term view of what it needs to do to remain successful.
Imagining a profitable force for good
Steve Wright, Admap, Shortlisted, Admap Prize 2013
This paper argues that it is not possible for brands to maximise profit and, at the same time, be a force for good.
This paper argues that it is not possible for brands to maximise profit and, at the same time, be a force for good. A combination of a legal obligation to benefit shareholders, and the destructive consequences of profit maximisation, leads brands down a path that will create net 'bad' in the world. However, the author argues that if corporations abandon not the goal of profit, but of profit maximisation, and realise that reducing poverty and creating 'good' is good for business, they can be a positive force in the world.
Dirt is good for profit and people
Brent Gosling, Admap, Shortlisted, Admap Prize 2013
This paper uses the case study of 'Dirt is Good', a campaign by carried out by Unilever laundry detergent brands around the world, as an example of a brand maximising profit by doing good.
This paper uses the case study of 'Dirt is Good', a campaign by carried out by Unilever laundry detergent brands around the world, as an example of a brand maximising profit by doing good. It focuses specifically on Unilever's Omo brand in Vietnam, where the campaign has helped give children more time for play outside. At the same time, the Omo brand has grown to be worth 3.2 billion euros and become the most successful laundry product in the developing world.
CSR IS business
Megun Averell, Admap, Shortlisted, Admap Prize 2013
This paper asks what companies can do to regain consumer trust following the 'Great Recession' of 2008.
This paper asks what companies can do to regain consumer trust following the 'Great Recession' of 2008. It examines how companies have historically carried out Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices and why these are no longer enough to maintain consumer trust. The author argues that globalisation and a disconnect between the communities that manufacture products and the communities that purchase them has bred distrust. To counter this problem, CSR must now become a whole business model in which no single stakeholder group - whether customer, investor or employee - profits at the expense of another. The essay shows that investors can also continue to benefit, as companies that follow this approach prosper more than the average.
Syrup, cows and the voice of the commons: How planning skills can save the world for fun and profit
Brian Millar, Admap, June 2013, pp. 29-31
This paper argues there is a systematic way for brands to maximise profits while doing good and believes planners are well positioned to make this happen.
This paper argues there is a systematic way for brands to maximise profits while doing good and believes planners are well positioned to make this happen. The author urges planners to not only listen to the voice of the consumer, but to listen to the voice of “the commons”: from environmentalists to "Occupy" camps and the online vigilantism of Anonymous, the activists’ voice is a powerful one. The paper argues that when brands listen to the voice of the commons, they will find new opportunities to enhance consumers' lives. Planners can use many of their existing skills to help brands do good by asking new, socially-minded questions. Dove, Yakult, Google and Zipcar are among some of the brands discussed.
Time for brands to start thinking inside the box
John Griffiths, Admap, Shortlisted, Admap Prize 2013
Companies are undertaking an increasingly ambitious range of initiatives under the banner of corporate social responsibility.
Companies are undertaking an increasingly ambitious range of initiatives under the banner of corporate social responsibility. For all the benefits of firms taking on roles typically associated with nation-states and NGOs, however, these corporations are usually unaccountable, and frequently set the agenda in a unilateral way. They are also increasingly using “quasi-religious” language to justify their actions. Redressing this imbalance requires making managers and shareholders ethically accountable, developing significantly wider models of stakeholder consultation, and soliciting the views of religious groups, the role of which is often underappreciated, especially in Europe.
The economics of abundance
Ersun Warncke, Admap, Shortlisted, Admap Prize 2013
This paper argues that companies can serve the public good and maximise profit, illustrated by the example of the changes to the global trade in diamonds and the move towards demand for "conflict free" gems.
This paper argues that companies can serve the public good and maximise profit, illustrated by the example of the changes to the global trade in diamonds and the move towards demand for "conflict free" gems. It looks at how brands have met people's desires in accordance with Maslow's hierarchy of needs and discusses how they can meet the last step of self-actualisation. The author argues that in a world of abundance, with all other lower needs met, brands will focus on integrity, social responsibility and sustainability in order to fulfil consumers' need for self-actualisation.
Doing good is good business
Kit Altin and Alice Hooper, Admap, Shortlisted, Admap Prize 2013
This essay looks at how society has moved away from the binary view that businesses can either maximise profits or be a force for social good, and discusses the implications for marketing strategy.
This essay looks at how society has moved away from the binary view that businesses can either maximise profits or be a force for social good, and discusses the implications for marketing strategy. It argues that brand planning must evolve in order to future-proof brands for a world in which "doing good" is a business imperative. It identifies three catalysts of change: scarce resources, popular demand and a new level of transparency brought about by social media. In this new era, planners need to create brands that play a meaningful role in people's lives, must plan for a sustainable long-term horizon, and see people and brands as partners.
Social Good, Personal Best: How a basic selfish desire may be just what business and society need
Guy Champniss, Admap, June 2013, pp. 32-34
This paper argues that rather than expecting selfless or altruistic consumer behaviour to achieve social good, brands should look at how consumers' inherent selfish behaviour can lead to social good and better profits.
This paper argues that rather than expecting selfless or altruistic consumer behaviour to achieve social good, brands should look at how consumers' inherent selfish behaviour can lead to social good and better profits. The author uses Jeep, the US car-maker, and its commitment to the Tread Lightly scheme, as an example. He suggests that Jeep users enter the scheme for reasons other than altruism, such as increased self-esteem, recognition and validation. This argument is supported by research that shows that social good can be generated by focusing solely on behaviour, rather than ethical attitudes.
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