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          企業怎樣推動世界進步?從這五個方面著手

          Donnovan Andrews 2019年10月21日

          如果品牌能展示出與消費者一致的價值觀,將收獲顧客的忠誠度、品牌知名度和好感度。

          唐諾萬·安德魯斯寫道,企業應該遵循商業圓桌會議組織關于企業社會責任重要性的聲明。圖片來源:Angela Weiss—AFP/Getty Images
          ?

          今年8月,181位來自于美國最有影響力的公司的首席執行官為一個古老的問題提供了一個新的答案:公司的目的到底是什么?

          多年來,已故經濟學家米爾頓·弗里德曼倡導的股東財富最大化一直是商界領袖們奉行的唯一教義。然而,商業圓桌會議組織這則關于公司目的的聲明卻對股東的至高地位提出了挑戰,僅僅把他們作為更大范圍的利益相關方之一,其他利益相關方還包括員工、供應商和公眾本身。

          盡管這個游說集團并沒有對自由市場失去信心,但它的聲明反映出,人們越來越接受這種觀點:企業要為其社會影響(包括積極影響和消極影響)及其底線負責。因此,現代社會的首席執行官和首席營銷官不僅僅要安撫股東,他們有責任創造出包容性更強、更有利于更廣闊人群的商業模式。

          這看起來像是一個頗具前瞻性的想法,但推崇“為所有美國人服務的經濟”并不是什么新鮮事。企業知道,企業社會責任不僅僅是一個營銷術語(至少創新型企業這樣認為),要塑造一個能反映和肯定消費者價值觀的社會,企業扮演著重要角色。

          現有數據支持了這一點。公關公司愛德曼(Edelman)在其2018年品牌報告的新聞稿中指出,全球消費者中有64%“會僅僅因為某個品牌在社會或政治問題上的立場而購買或抵制該品牌”。超過一半的受訪消費者也認為,在解決社會問題方面,品牌能做的比政府還要多。

          這是因為私營部門已經證明,它可以用技術、創新和新視角大規模地快速解決問題。企業使用這些工具獲得了成功,如今,企業也將同樣的工具用于發展能夠體現員工和顧客理想的事業。

          當然,這是一個大挑戰。今天的消費者比以往任何時候聯系都更緊密,參與感更強,自我意識更強,更有力量。然而,如果品牌能展示出與消費者一致的價值觀,將收獲顧客的忠誠度、品牌知名度和好感度。

          對于企業來說,這是一個與客戶建立聯系的機會,但也存在疏遠客戶的風險,或者更糟的是,可能會引發網上大量的批評。對新問題有清晰的了解至關重要。品牌如果想提高知名度——尤其是面對年輕受眾時——需要參與他們關心的社會問題,支持人們討論并提出帶來切實效果的短期解決方案。

          幾家大公司已經開始了聲勢浩大的行動。2018年,巴塔哥尼亞(Patagonia)宣布,計劃將最近因減稅省下的1000萬美元捐贈給針對氣候變化尋找解決方案的環保組織。同年,盡管受到某些保守團體的抵制,耐克還是與科林·卡珀尼克簽署了一份價值數百萬美元的代言協議。耐克甚至還更進一步,通過主題宣傳活動,把自己的品牌價值與卡珀尼克反對種族不平等的立場牢牢綁定。消費者對這一舉措表示歡迎,推動了品牌曝光度和銷量的飆升。

          自2006年以來,通過“一對一”計劃,Toms已經向發展中國家的貧困兒童捐贈了9300多萬雙新鞋;該公司目前也在開展類似的眼鏡和咖啡捐贈計劃。與此同時,襪子公司新貴Bombas向美國無家可歸的人捐贈了1000萬雙襪子。

          這對未來意味著什么?意味著新的商業模式,那時公司將成為運動和社區的組成部分。以Salesforce為例,該公司聘用了一位首席慈善官,奉行包容性資本主義和1-1-1慈善模式,這個模式要求該公司將自己的時間、利潤和產品各捐出1%。公司的首席執行官馬克·貝尼奧夫表示:“商業正在改善世界。”

          對具有社會責任感的企業來說,最終編寫劇本的將是那些足夠大膽、能展示他們愿意為公眾共同價值觀服務的公司。

          要實現這一目標,品牌可以采取五個步驟。

          首先,不要置身事外。現在是艱難的時期,消費者希望看到品牌能夠采取大膽的舉措。

          其次,做出承諾并配置適當的資源。一旦一個組織決定致力于某一項事業,它需要制定預算,用好專業知識,提出連續、透明的解決方案并加以落實。

          第三,團結你的員工。有積極性的人可以像社交媒體宣傳活動一樣詳細闡述你的價值觀。讓你的員工去宣傳,讓他們支持你的事業,證明你們做出的努力是實實在在的。

          第四,始終如一地參與對話。了解最新消息、展現真誠的最好方法是通過社交媒體、博客、平媒、視頻、在線聊天和圓桌會議等形式積極參與時事。這樣你們公司的決策者可以與那些已經從事某項事業的人建立聯系。

          最后,建立良性循環。鼓勵消費者通過支持能和他們以及他們的社區產生共鳴的事業來支持你。

          唐諾萬·安德魯斯是Overture Global的首席執行官和創始人。(財富中文網)

          譯者:Agatha

          This past August, a group of 181 CEOs from America’s most influential companies provided a new answer to a very old question: What, exactly, is a corporation for?

          Maximizing shareholder wealth—an idea promoted by the late economist Milton Friedman—had been the singular mantra of business leaders for years. Yet the Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation challenged the primacy of shareholders, adding them to a broader list of stakeholders that includes employees, suppliers, and the public itself.

          While the lobbying group is hardly losing faith in the free market, its statement reflected a growing acceptance that businesses will be held responsible for their social impact—both positive and negative—as well as their bottom line. The modern CEO and CMO therefore have a duty to move beyond merely placating shareholders and toward creating models that are more inclusive and beneficial for a wider base of people.

          It might seem like a forward-looking idea, but promoting “an economy that serves all Americans” is nothing new. Companies know that corporate social responsibility is more than a marketing buzzword (at least the innovative ones do) and that brands have a major role to play in shaping a society that reflects and affirms the values of consumers.

          The numbers back it up. In the press release for its 2018 Earned Brand report, public relations firm Edelman noted that 64% of global consumers “will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue.” More than half of consumers polled also agreed that brands can do more to fix social problems than the government itself.

          That’s because the private sector has proven it can solve problems at scale with speed, technology, innovation, and a fresh perspective. Now, corporations are applying the same tools that allow them to prosper to causes reflecting the ideals of their employees and customers.

          To be sure, it’s a major challenge. Today’s consumers are more connected, engaged, aware, and empowered than ever. Yet brands demonstrating values that align with those consumers will be rewarded with purchasing loyalty as well as heightened brand awareness and favorability.

          For businesses, this presents an opportunity to connect with customers as well as a risk of alienating them, or worse, inspiring a viral army of online critics. Having a clear read on the latest issues is essential. Brands that want to increase mindshare—especially with younger audiences—need to engage with the societal problems they care about, supporting awareness and the development of near-term solutions that deliver tangible results.

          Several major companies have already made aggressive moves. In 2018, Patagonia announced plans to donate $10 million saved from recent tax cuts to organizations that defend the environment and find solutions to the climate crisis. The same year, despite threats of a boycott from certain conservative groups, Nike signed Colin Kaepernick to a multi-million dollar endorsement deal. And Nike went even further, planting its brand equity firmly behind Kaepernick’s stand against racial injustice in a featured campaign. Consumers applauded the move, fueling a groundswell of brand exposure as well as a surge in sales.

          Through its one-for-one program, Toms has donated more than 93 million pairs of new shoes to needy kids in developing countries since 2006; the company is now involved in similar ventures with eyewear and coffee. Upstart sock company Bombas, meanwhile, has given away 10 million pairs of socks to homeless people in the U.S.

          What does this mean for the future? New business models where companies are built as integral parts of movements and communities. Salesforce, for example, employs a chief philanthropy officer and embraces an inclusive capitalism ethos and 1-1-1 philanthropy model, which commits the company to giving away 1% each of its time, profits, and product. “The business of business,” says CEO Marc Benioff, “ is improving the state of the world.”

          The playbook for socially responsible companies will ultimately be written by the companies bold enough to demonstrate their commitment to the values we all share.

          There are five steps brands can adopt to making this a reality.

          First, get off the sidelines. These are trying times, and consumers want to see brands take bold steps.

          Second, commit to something and deploy appropriate resources. Once an organization is committed to a cause, it needs to put its budget and expertise toward developing and delivering solutions with consistency and transparency.

          Third, rally your employees. Motivated people will amplify your values as effectively as any social media campaign will. Use your employees to get out the word, support your cause, and show that your efforts are genuine.

          Fourth, be a part of the conversation—consistently. The best way to stay informed and show your sincerity is to be actively engaged in current issues through social media, blogs, print media, video, online chats, and roundtables. This allows your decision makers to connect with people whom are already committed to a cause.

          And finally, build a virtuous circle. Encourage consumers to support you by supporting causes that resonate with them and their communities.

          Donnovan Andrews is the CEO and founder of Overture Global.

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