The importance of brands connecting with social good

Millennials care about social good.  They are more apt to pick up a product that has a social component than one that does not.  Generation Z will drive this home with their spending dollars.

The next generation of large brands will have to have a social give to build loyalty not only among their consumers but inside their company.  Social is in and it is about time.  Our culture is built on being philanthropic.  It starts in kindergarten with bake sales and lemonade stands to raise money for others from a tsunami to a cause.  In general, Americans feel comfortable giving back to others.  I believe that people (like myself) who have had financial success have a responsibility to give back to the community in ways that resonate with them from supporting the arts to supporting cancer research.

I have never understood the push back to not pay taxes as it maintains our roads, who monitors our airways for flight travel, who delivers our mail, who educates our children…all of this is paid for with tax dollars.  The parks, the museums and the organizations that help underserved communities are paid for by the good of the public that makes donations to their bottom line.  Granted many of the non-profit organizations do not run as efficiently as profit organizations but they are important.

The concept of joining a board, paying them to be on it and then doing a lot of work for them is one that seems odd but that is what has been going on for decades.  Things need to change.  Having brands be the next generation of support for an organization that they get behind through their consumer’s dollars is what companies should be thinking about to capture future customers.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Jeremy Robinson

    Totally agree. Would love to see product logos for companies that adorn uniforms that athletes wear paired with non-profit organizations, especially some of the smaller ones like the American Foundation for the Blind. For a brief shining moment after 9/11, Harvard Business Review had some powerful articles about ‘the caring organization.” Would love to be reading more articles that tilt in that direction. Adam Grant’s first book “Give and Take” makes a compelling argument that givers- those who generously support others- are more successful in business in the long run. [“Nice guys don’t finish last.”] In these times, messages about supporting arts’ organizations, health care causes, altruistic ways of showing up in world- hell, kindness and compassion for people less fortunate no matter who they are- can’t be repeated often enough.

    1. Gotham Gal

      the logos would be very smart be it products or jerseys.

  2. JLM

    .Interesting topics.I agree more with you than you do with yourself as it relates to the perception of doing good being of significance to Millenials and Gen Z. Whether that will overcome a better price on Amazon is open to a bit of conjecture.As to taxes, I can tell you without reservation that the necessity to pay taxes for all the reasons you have enumerated is drowned by the perception that a huge amount of our tax money is squandered for things that are of no actual merit.When a tax dollar comes from a state to the Federal gov’t, it is diminished by 26% just to be collected. When it returns to the state as a block grant, it is further shrunk by 8%. Government is an extraordinarily inefficient redistributor of wealth.BTW, we have enjoyed record Federal receipts for the last three years and yet the deficit spending continues. We are addicted — both parties — to deficit spending.The one adult fiscal action ever taken, the Sequester, was abandoned like a candy wrapper the first time it was to be enforced. Republicans were in lock step with the Democrats in abandoning their own promises of fiscal restraint proving we cannot trust any politicians.The gov’t is not really good at very much. Take as an example the Veterans Administration and its healthcare system. When I got out of the Army in the late 1970s — just as the flood of Vietnam vets began to hit, it was a mess.Now, with a continuous number of wars — not nearly as many wounded as in Vietnam — the VA is WORSE. The VA is literally killing men who the Viet Cong, the NVA, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS could never touch. It is evil.As a veteran, I see the care given to refugees and homeless and I resent that we do not take similar care of our veterans. Hell, veterans fought for the country and our contract was to treat their service connected maladies for life. The VA is not holding up their end of the contract.So, I think the bottom line is that nobody trusts the gov’t to be good stewards of our tax money.It will be interesting to see what this administration does with the size of government. For the first time ever, the headcount is under the microscope and the cost of the regulatory morass is being addressed. There is no good reason why many departments are not 20% smaller than they currently are and there are at least three departments which are a duplication of the exact same efforts at the state level.The State of Texas (almost no Federal land because it was admitted to the union by merger of a sovereign nation and therefore had no Federal lands) regulated its own oil & gas business for more than a century and then they created the Dept of Energy. Texas was and is light years ahead of the DOE. Rick Perry was right when he said we should shut down the DOE. Irony is a bitch.The same can be said for the Dept of Education and DHS and the Office of the DNI. The DNI is simply the function of the CIA Director when his agency was “CENTRAL.” Both the DHS and the DNI could be eliminated tomorrow and you would have the same sixteen intel agencies coordinating as they did before with the Director of Central Intelligence.We could shelve every single weapons program for four years with no impact on our readiness and combat lethality. We are planning for a sixth and seventh generation plane when nobody can hang with our current generation aircraft and anti-air armaments. We still struggle to get the Air Force, Navy, and Marines to use the same aircraft. That is dumb.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. Mariah Lichtenstern

    Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Shelly Lipton

    Joanne, this is so right on!! I have been working with a SaaS platform called that does exactly what you’re advocating. Thanks for your POV as always! You must be happy to be in LA and have missed Stella!!

    1. Gotham Gal

      I am very happy to have missed Stella!