Brand Social Mutation – rethinking the brand model through the lens of social impact

Sebastien Thomas
The Platinum Guild International

In western culture, there has always been a feeling that making profit and 'doing good' are contradictory terms. It is a strong belief that may date back to the ancient Judaeo-Christian culture. This dichotomy was probably at the core of the development of on the one side, the system of capitalism, which focuses on maximizing profits, and on the other, the way in which social matters are left to states and charities to tackle through 'disinterested' volunteering.

I recently heard people still firmly claiming that 'making money while helping others is a conflict of interest as doing good should be free and on a voluntary basis'.

The deal is obviously changing today and if we consider brands, they are no longer related to one specific product but have become part of our lives and important to our culture. They have become social connectors of their own, some of them without even realising it. That is not to say that brands have adopted purely social goals, but instead that they are part of modern social structures and, for the most popular brands, of culture as a whole. Thus they occupy a prime position to play a more significant social role, and achieve something for the greater good.