Sunday, 31 July 2011

Arrogant Brand? You're Dead To Me!

It’s almost three years now, and before the economic crisis, that I wrote my book “ Nice Capitalism- A Secret Journey to the Death of the Arrogant Brant”. Since then, continuously and steadily new research data and studies are confirming my theory. Recently, I was very pleased to read an article in S+B magazine presenting fresh data from a survey in the context of Young & Rubicam’sd Asset Valuator (BAV) . According to the article “among the once-prized brand attributes that declined in this period were:“exclusive” (down 60 percent), “arrogant” (down 41 percent), “sensuous” (down 30 percent), and “daring” (down 20 percent). On the opposite side of the scale, the brand attributes Americans found more important as they began to sense the impending recession and then suffered through the crisis were: “kindness and empathy” (up 391 percent), “friendly” (up 148 percent), “high quality” (up 124 percent), and “socially responsible” (up 63 percent). But if the Death of the Arrogant Brand is an inevitable reality, which are the new emerging species in today’s Brand Ecosystem? The book explains why a number of emerging forces could have devastating effects on brands and lead to the rise of a new species of brand, “Nice Brands” and “Nice Capitalism”, two developments that are clearly interrelated, as the book explains, which usually lead to happier people and more “Happy Nations”, particularly in Europe. Find more in my book here!

Friday, 29 July 2011

The two pillars of any successful Community investment

Financial commitment and active engagement are the two pillars of any successful community investment according to experts. . And Bell Canada seems to know well this rule.
The largest communications company in Canada, has just published its 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report online. The report meets the Global Reporting Initiatives GRI–G3 A+ reporting level.
Among other things, the report details Bell’s leadership in sustainability including the company’s recognition from the FTSE4Good Global Index, the Jantzi Social Index and Oekom Research.
The report features detailed performance data and qualitative descriptions of several key corporate responsibility initiatives. The five main sections of this electronic report address the issues that are most relevant to the company’s business and to its stakeholders.
However, of particular interest is the company’s Community program : a five-year, $50‑million Bell Mental Health Initiative and other community investments. Bell people are actively engaged in their communities. In addition to giving time and money to worthy causes, many employees are playing leadership roles, mobilizing themselves and others by getting involved. The company encourages community involvement through internal campaigns, volunteer grants, payroll and credit card deductions, and organizing volunteer teams. See more and download the report here.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Harvard now(?) wonders how to fix Capitalism: Replace it with … Nice Capitalism stupid!

Anna Farmery of the Engaging Brand is producing another top class podcast, talking about how business can help create social value. This time in an interview with Mark Kramer, founder and managing director at FSG and a Harvard CSR fellow, who co-authored the article with Michael Porter of Harvard Business School. So sad that Harvard was not aware about the research work and the book “Nice Capitalism” by Costas Kataras ,published before the 2008 financial crisis, that was prophetic. Do not miss this podcast, click here.

CSR conscious companies have better access to finance ?

This is under examination in a recent Harvard paper by B.Cheng, I. Ioannou and G. Serafeim.
Authors investigate “whether superior performance on corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies leads to better access to finance, hypothesizing that better access to finance can be attributed to reduced agency costs, due to enhanced stakeholder engagement through CSR and reduced informational asymmetries, due to increased transparency through non-financial reporting." To read the complete paper use this link.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Corporate Reputation again in the rise in America, according to Harris Interactive U.S. Reputation Survey 2011

Overall corporate reputation is experiencing rehabilitation as the American public gives high marks overall to corporate America, specific industries, and the largest number of individual companies in a dozen years. This, according to the findings of the 2011 Harris Interactive RQ Study, which measures the reputations of the 60 Most Visible Companies in the U.S.
Google ranked highest, supplanting Berkshire Hathaway, which falls to the 4th position. Johnson & Johnson ranked second again, followed by 3M Company at 3rd. Apple continues a steady rise begun in 2002, ranking 5th, as its corporate reputation catches up with its elite brand status.
The top 10 companies on this year's list in order of ranking include: 1) Google; 2) Johnson & Johnson; 3) 3M Company; 4) Berkshire Hathaway; 5) Apple; 6) Intel Corporation; 7) Kraft Foods; 8); 9) General Mills; 10) The Walt Disney Company. For a full list of the top 60 companies and other findings visit:
The bottom 10 companies on this year's list in order of ranking include: 51.) Delta Airlines; 52) JP Morgan Chase; 53) Exxon Mobil; 54) General Motors; 55) Bank of America; 56) Chrysler; 57) Citigroup; 58) Goldman Sachs; 59) BP; 60) AIG.
There are six reputational dimensions that the RQ survey focuses on that influence reputation and consumer behavior. Below are the six dimensions along with the five corporations that ranked highest within each:
Social Responsibility - 1) Whole Foods Market; 2) Johnson & Johnson; 3) Google; 4) The Walt Disney Company; 5) Procter & Gamble Co.
Emotional Appeal - 1) Johnson & Johnson; 2); 3) UPS; 4) General Mills; 5) Kraft Foods
Financial Performance - 1) Google; 2) Berkshire Hathaway; 3) Apple; 4) Intel; 5) The Walt Disney Company
Products & Services - 1) Intel Corporation; 2) 3M Company; 3) Johnson & Johnson; 4) Google; 5) Procter & Gamble Co.
Vision & Leadership - 1) Berkshire Hathaway; 2) Google; 3) Apple; 4) Intel Corporation; 5) The Walt Disney Company
Workplace Environment - 1) Google; 2) Johnson & Johnson; 3) Apple; 4) Berkshire Hathaway; 5) 3M Company

Danish secrets for a Better Life- The country steadily tops all happiness metrics

How do you define a better life? What matters most to you – good schools, safe streets or something else?
Don’t worry. The Danes know all these secrets as they are No 1 in all relevant well-being , better life, and happiness indicators. Now, as usual, the are in the No1 position in a new indicator presented by OECD . It is called the Better Life Index. The OECD Better Life Initiative proposes an interactive tool, Your Better Life Index, which enables you to rate your country on the things you feel make for a better life. The benchmarks, which can be calculated for all 34 member OECD countries, fall into 11 areas: housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.
The OECD’s intent is to encourage individuals to come up with weightings for measuring their country’s “better life” quality, and then submit that formula to the OECD. All the proposed calculations will be put into a database that the organization will consult in examining what matters most to individuals in evaluating quality of life. But if you want to make it short, just ask a ..Dane!

Monday, 18 July 2011

CSR :Top five trends of Q2/2011

“ With the maturing of CSR (and some will say, the ‘commercialization” of CSR), the conversation is revolving more and more around the deeper integration of sustainability into business value, strategy, culture and the intersection of CSR with core business lines” says Adine Mees of CBSR. See the full story here.