There is one trend in marketing that I am really happy about, and it has nothing to do with flashy designs or outrageous antics. Instead, this is a trend about doing some good within our worldwide community. Sure, the companies that partake in such programs receive good PR out of the deal, but I choose to believe they are also doing this out of the goodness of their hearts by noticing an area they can help improve and taking steps to make a change.
One outreach worth noting is The Starbucks Foundation. Whether you dig their coffee or not, there is no denying Starbucks is using its fame and fortune to help others. The foundation was actually started 12 years ago, with a focus on funding literacy programs. Since then the foundation's efforts have expanded into supporting young social entrepreneurs in the world, donating a sizable portion of Ethos water sales to clean water programs, aiding those in need in China through the China Education Project, and funding repair in areas ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Additionally, ice cream giants Haagen-Dazs launched a campaign to "Help the Honeybees" early last year. Noting honeybee pollination is necessary for much of the food we eat (yes, including ice cream) -- and that bee colonies are on the decline in the US -- the company created a money-raising new flavor (Vanilla Honey Bee), as well as donating $250,000 toward research.
And a more recent example lies in a Houston, Texas, summit that took place this month. The National Dairy Council, in conjunction with the Houston Independent School District and many, many others, decided the need to address childhood obesity is now. The summit was a two-day brainstorming session that included everyone from community leaders to students. The goal? To create feasible plans that offer solutions to the epidemic that is childhood obesity. Everyone donated their time and efforts in the hopes obesity rates in Texas could begin to lower, instead of continuing to rise.
Companies like these are leading the way and setting a great example of how we really can make a difference. It's not all about profits and stocks -- creating a presence in the community can make a world of difference both for others and the organization itself. And in all honesty, when I know a company is donating a portion of its proceeds or is working with its community, I am more inclined to buy its product or spread the word -- making this a win-win for all involved.
The Edge of Everything
4 hours ago