Profit for its sake, and capitalism for its sake, will actually become unstuck, unwind and not work.
-- Global CEO David Jones of Havas Worldwide
Pepsi gives grants to world-changing initiatives, chosen by you.
Puma encourages soccer lovers to romance the women that love them -- in exchange for game time:
State Farm gives video embeddability back to OK Go and its fans:
Tropicana brings sunshine to sun-starved Alaskans:
Land's End nudges Bostonians to share old coats with the less fortunate:
Then there are more long-term things, like Starbucks deciding to serve 100% commerce-equitable coffee with fully recyclable materials within reduced-energy spaces by 2015, or WalMart bending to pressure to carry organic foods.
Someone once told me that it doesn't really matter what "good" brands propose to be doing if their motivations remain selfish ones. But if you're gonna be a cynic about it, which you have every right to be, consider looking at it as a good sign that sustainability, human warmth and health concerns are now significant enough that they become motivations for profit.
It's a sign that more people are educated about the long-term consequences of their brand allegiances than in previous generations. They want to know what you're putting in their food, who's making their shoes and whether you're doing your part to protect the planet.
That's not all. American law treats companies as if they are human, and now people demand proof that you are: do you care about what is happening to them? Do you want to create exceptional experiences that enrich their lives, or do you just wanna broadcast messages all around their personal space?
Your users know what they want. And they're sharing that information with you via their purchasing decisions, free-flowing opinions on the Web and vocal, fearless citizen journalism, forcing even reluctant companies to change old habits and be transparent.
Listen to them. These are good things. And if the most black-hearted brand has to bend to this tide in order to survive, we should thank our deities of choice that we live in such a world.