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Mutuality: Financial profit with social good


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How the concept of mutuality can help brands maximise profits and be a force for social good.

How the concept of mutuality can help brands maximise profits and be a force for social good.

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  • 1. October, 2013 Mutuality: financial profit with social good   @tomwoodnu1   Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 2. Doing social good and making profit are compatible aims….     …This  paper  argues  that  it  is  more  likely   when  the  ethos  of  mutuality  Is  embraced   because  it  helps  build  stronger  brand   rela@onships  (meaning  more  long  term   profits)  .  .  .     The  presenta@ons  includes  an  analysis  of   the  key  challenges  preven@ng  this  from   happening,  before  arguing  that  the   principle  of  mutuality  can  be  a  big  part  of   the  solu@on.           Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 3. The link between doing good and making money is well-established     Most  sustainability  decisions  are  driven  by   the  desire  to  grow1  and  make  profit2       There  are  many  paths  to  profit  via  social   good,  including3:   -­‐  improved  efficiency   -­‐  innova@on     -­‐  employee  engagement       ….to  name  a  few             SOURCES:     1  -­‐  ‘Long-­‐Term  Growth,  Short-­‐Term  Differen@a@on  and  Profits  from   Sustainable  Products  and  Services,’  Accenture,  May  2012     2  -­‐‘Corporate  Ci@zenship:    Profi@ng  from  Sustainable  Business’,  The   Economist  Intelligence  Unit,  2008       3  -­‐  ‘The  Top  10  Trends  in  CSR  for  2012’,  Forbes,  by  Tim  Mohin,  18/1/12     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 4. This paper focuses on its contribution via improved brand relationships       Psychologists  have  linked  Corporate  Social   Responsibility  (CSR)  ac@vity  to  people  being   more  likely  to  advocate  and  buy  brands1     Similarly,  according  to  a  recent  Harvard  Law   School  study2  the  benefits  of  social  good   include:       “customer  loyalty,  willingness  to  pay   premium  prices,  and  lower  reputa5onal  risks   in  5mes  of  crisis”         SOURCES:     1  -­‐  ‘Du,  Shuili,  C.B.  Bha1acharya,  and  Sankar  Sen  (2007),  ‘Reaping   Rela@onal  Rewards  from  Corporate  Social  Responsibility:  The  Role  of   Compe@@ve  Posi@oning,’  Interna5onal  Journal  of  Research  in   Marke5ng,  24  (3),  224-­‐41.     2  -­‐  ‘Inves@ng  in  Corporate  Social  Responsibility  to  Enhance  Customer   Value’  by  Noam  Noked,  HLS  Forum  28/2/12   Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.        AKA:      ‘deeper  brand  rela@onships’  
  • 5. Today’s brands can’t afford to ignore their social responsibilities   Companies  that  do  ‘social  bad’  are  being   exposed  by  hyper-­‐connected  networks  of   hyper-­‐cri@cal  consumers1.         Studies2,  3  show  that  people  not  only   expect  social  responsibility  but  cri@cally,   that  they  are  willing  to  work  with  them  to   help  achieve  this.         Doing  social  good  has  become  a  shared   obliga@on  with  the  public  too.         Mutuality  is  about  tapping  into  a  common   desire  to  create  shared  value  for   businesses,  brands  and  society.       SOURCES:     1  -­‐  ‘Good  Business:    The  business  case  for  social  brand  behavior’  By   Faris  Yakob,  2012   2  -­‐  2012  Edelman  goodpurpose®  study   3  -­‐  2012  Cone  Communica.ons  Corporate  Social  Return  Trend   Tracker       Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 6. The challenge to maximise profits by doing social good is increasing         As  more  brands  increase  their  investment   in  social  good,  it  will  become  harder  to   make  it  dis@nc@ve  and  inspiring.         Success  will  require  proper  investment,   insight,  dialogue,  collabora@on  and   strategic  crea@vity.           Doing  social  good,  must  be  sufficiently   strategic  to  deepen  brand  rela@onships.     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 7. There are several challenges to building brands through social good   The  main  problems  limi@ng  the  poten@al   impact  of  social  good  on  brand   rela@onships  (and  therefore  long  term   profits)  are  inter-­‐related  and  fall  at   different  levels:     1  -­‐  (Business  Level)  Brands’  social  good   strategies  are  oien  peripheral       2  -­‐  (Consumer  Level)  Social  good  ini@a@ves   frequently  fail  to  engage  people     3  -­‐  (Brand  Level)  Social  good  regularly  fails   to  build  the  brand  op@mally         Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 8. 1 - Strategy for social good is often peripheral   According  to  Milton  Friedman:    ’The  main   responsibility  of  business  is  profit’  1         This  relegates  socially  good  business   prac@ces  into  a  lower  league  of   importance  compared  to  tradi@onal  profit   drivers  like  marke@ng,  opera@onal   efficiency  and  innova@on.         Unsurprisingly,  studies2  suggest  that   stakeholders  in  charge  of  CSR  oien  feel   disempowered  and  are  all  too  oien   segregated  from  other  departments2.         It  is  not  surprising  that  doing  social  good  is   oien  peripheral  to  other  business   concerns.     SOURCE:     1  -­‐  ‘The  Social  Responsibility  of  Business  is  to  Increase  its   Profit’,  by  Milton  Friedman,  The  New  York  Times  Magazine,   September  13,  1970     2  -­‐  h1p:// inves@ng-­‐in-­‐corporate-­‐social-­‐responsibility-­‐to-­‐enhance-­‐ customer-­‐value     3  -­‐  ‘Integrate  And  Prosper,  Cross-­‐department  collabora@on   is  the  key  to  mo@va@ng  employees  and  driving  revenue.  by   Chris@ne  Crandell,  6/4/09     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 9. 2- Social good initiatives often fail to engage people   The  lack  of  investment  or  concerted  effort   in  crea@ng  socially  good  ini@a@ves  means   they  are  oien  boring1  or  simply  unknown.       This  is  made  worse  by  the  tendency  for   CSR  communica@ons  to  default  to   corporate  language  that  fails  to  connect   with  the  mainstream  public2.         Many  ini@a@ves  are  short  term  rather  than   on-­‐going.  Worse  s@ll,  social  good   ini@a@ves  can  be  met  with  cynicism  from   people  who  sniff  out  any  inconsistencies.       For  example,  KFC’s  cancer  charity   campaign  was  accused  of  ‘pink  wash’  on   social  media  since  its  product  was  also   cri@cised  as  being  a  contributor  to  the   illness  in  the  first  place3.         SOURCE:     1  -­‐  S-­‐ROI  Metric  Enables  Triple-­‐Bo1om-­‐Line  Decision-­‐ Making’,  Sustainable  Brands,  18/9/12     2  -­‐  From  Babel  To  Nirvana:  Six  Quiet  Rules  for  Shaping  Life-­‐ Sized  Messages  and  People-­‐Powered  Movements,  By  Julian   Bora,  Sustainable  Brands     3  -­‐  ‘The  Pinkwashing  Debate:  Empty  Cri@cism  or  Serious   Liability?’,  Amy  Westervelt,  11/4/12       Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 10. 3- Social good initiatives often fail to reinforce the brand strategy   Given  a  general  lack  of  inter-­‐departmental   collabora@on  and  therefore  an  uninspiring   standard  of  many  social  good  ini@a@ves,   there  is  too  oien  a  weak  connec@on   between  CSR  and  brand  or  marke@ng   strategy.         At  worst  this  can  lead  to  contradictory   communica@ons,  such  as  General  Motors’   ad  campaign  targe@ng  students  with  the   message:  “Stop  pedalling,  start  driving”.         It  was  widely  a1acked  for  its  denigra@on   of  student  cyclists  and  contradicted  their   website  claim  that  they  “ac5vely   par5cipate  in  educa5ng  the  public  about   environmental  conserva5on”  .  The  irony   did  not  go  unno@ced  across  social  media.       Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 11. The solution is not simply a case of money   The  example  of  the  ‘Pepsi  Refresh  project’   shows  how  big  budgets  and  converging   social  good  strategy  with  marke@ng  and   PR  can  s@ll  fail  to  grow  profits.     In  2011,  Pepsi  bravely  shunned  their   tradi@onal  Super  Bowl  spot  and  instead   commi1ed  $20m  to  social  causes  as  voted   by  the  public  across  social  media.       Despite  an  incredible  61  million  responses.   their  sales  suffered  during  the  period.       It  could  be  argued  that  this  was  because   the  execu@on  was  so  incongruent  with  its   core  brand  equity  (rooted  in  pop  culture)   so  it  failed  to  sustain  the  brand’s   relevance.     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 12. How the principle of mutuality can help…   I  believe  that  the  principle  of  mutuality   can  help  overcome  these  problems.       In  nature,  mutualis@c  rela@onships  are   symbio@c  and  based  on  mutual  gain.         Like  the  rela@onship  between  the  sea   anemone  and  clown  fish,  who  live  side  by   side,  protec@ng  one  an  other  from  their   predators.  It  has  been  defined  as  ‘a  state   of  reciprocity  and  sharing’.         Collabora@on  and  value  exchange   between  par@es  results  in  harmonious   rela@onships  that  are  equitable,  well-­‐ balanced  and  fair    Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 13. Mutuality can help make business better (and more profitable)     Mutuality  means:     1  –  understanding  people  be1er       2  -­‐  smarter  collabora@on     3  -­‐  more  shared  agendas       4  -­‐  greater  reciprocity       5  -­‐  strategically  building  the  brand       Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 14. 1 - UNDERSTAND: Mutuality requires a collaborative understanding of people   Mutuality  is  founded  on  a  true   understanding  of  different  par@es’  needs.         When  strategy  is  tuned  into  a  shared   agenda,  it  is  possible  to  create  win-­‐win   scenarios  and  shared  value1.       However,  tradi@onal  research  is  oien   based  on  a  narrow,  commercially  defined   client  agenda.         This  means  that  social  issues  are  oien   ignored.       Open  lines  of  digitally  facilitated  dialogue   between  brands  and  people  makes  it   easier  to  generate  the  feedback  and  data   necessary  for  S-­‐ROI  calcula@ons,  which  are   vital  to  building  the  case  for  investment2.     SOURCE:     1  -­‐  Crea@ng  Shared  Value,  by  Michael  E.  Porter  and   Mark  R.  Kramer,  Harvard  Business  Review,  Jan  2011     2  -­‐  h1p://­‐_web.pdf   Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.      
  • 15. 2 - PARTNER: Mutuality is about creating shared advantage together   Mutuality  is  also  about  working  together   in  strategic  partnerships  for  mutual  gain.       Working  in  partnerships  is  more  likely  to   create  experiences  that  add  value  to  both   brands  and  society.         Examples  include  Orange  who  teamed  up   with  RockCorps  to  reward  their  customers   for  giving  @me  to  charitable  causes  in   return  for  @ckets  to  exclusive  gigs.         Similarly  P&G1  teamed  up  with  Save  the   Children  to  promote  sanitary  products  in   developing  countries.  Their  brand   benefited  by  associa@on  and  by  crea@ng   demand  for  its  products  while  Save  the   Children  helped  reduce  the  school  drop-­‐ out  rates  among  young  women.       SOURCE:       h1p://­‐business/ngos-­‐partnering-­‐ businesses-­‐accelerate-­‐shared-­‐value?INTCMP=SRCH     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 16. 3 - INTEGRATE: Mutuality means seeking cross-departmental synergy   Mutuality  means  diverse  departments   rallying  around  a  social  idea.       Marks  and  Spencer’s  Plan  A  involved   ambi@ous  sustainability  targets  and  the   mobilisa@on  of  all  stakeholders.    This     created  an  addi@onal  £50m  revenue  in   20101.         Ben  and  Jerry’s1  rallied  departments   around  its  ambi@on  to  be  the  first  wholly   owned  subsidiary  brand  to  join  the  B   Corpora@on  movement  (which  involves   high  standards  of  social  performance)       Such  synergy  and  cross  departmental   investment  requires  board-­‐level  buy  in.  .  .     SOURCE:     1  -­‐   h1p://­‐new-­‐csr-­‐this-­‐@me-­‐its-­‐ profitable/     2  -­‐     h1p://­‐business/ben-­‐jerrys-­‐b-­‐ corpora@on-­‐social-­‐responsibili@es?INTCMP=SRCH   Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 17. 4 - RECIPROCATE: Mutuality means earning the kindness of the crowd   Mutuality  is  driven  by  our  ins@nct  to   reciprocate1:         “We  are  human  because  our  ancestors   learned  to  share  their  food  and  skills  in  an   honoured  network  of  obliga5on.”         People  will  socially  reward  brands  that   show  a  genuine  commitment  to  social   causes,  especially  when  invited  to  join  in.       Like  US  bank  Chase,  who  let  facebook  fans   choose  where  to  donate  $1  million  and  got   4million  fans  in  the  process       As  Simon  Mainwaring  points  out  in  ‘We   First’,  brands  and  society  can  benefit  from   this  two-­‐way  dynamic.         SOURCE:     1  -­‐  R.Leakey  and  R.  Lewin  (1978)  People  of  the  Lake.    New   York:  Anchor  Press  /  Doubleday   2  -­‐  We  First:  How  brands  and  consumers  use  social  media  to   build  a  be1er  world,  By  Simon  Mainwaring,  (2012)       Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 18. 5 – BE STRATEGIC: Mutuality is about brands ‘proving their purpose’   For  companies  to  do  social  good  in  ways   that  strategically  build  their  brands  they   have  to  ‘prove  their  purpose’  (in  the  words   of  Jens  Bang  from  Cone  Communica@ons).         An  example  of  this  is  Levi’s1  ‘Go  Forth’   campaign  which  featured  real  farmers   from  a  struggling  town  in  Pi1sburgh  to   celebrate  its  pioneering  spirit.    They   demonstrated  a  true  commitment,  by   inves@ng  $1million  into  local  projects  and   farms.         Similarly,  Haagen  Dazs  rooted  its  social   good  efforts  into  an  issue  of  direct   relevance  to  its  product:  the  threat  to  the   honey  bee  popula@on.    They  received  over   half  a  million  #savethebees  tweets  in  one   week,  and  gave  $1  for  each  one.         SOURCE:   1  –  h1p://­‐macys-­‐ twi1er-­‐@de-­‐levis-­‐adver@sing-­‐responsibility-­‐cmo-­‐network-­‐ imagina@ve-­‐csr.html     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 19. In conclusion: Mutuality can inspire profits, social good and coaction Social  good  can  help  maximise  profits   when  ini@a@ves  are  strategically  aligned   with  building  the  brand.           However,  it  is  not  simply  the  responsibility   of  the  corpora@on.    It  is  a  shared   obliga@on  between  customers,  employees   and  companies.         This  is  what  Cindy  Gallop  has  described  as   the  business  model  of  the  future;  one   based  on  the  equa@on:  “shared  ac5on  plus   shared  values  equals  shared  profit:   Financial  profit  and  societal  profit.”       Mutuality  provides  the  necessary   understanding,  collabora@on,  shared   agendas  and  reciprocal  value,  to  make   social  ini@a@ves  profitable  for  society  as   well  as  the  bo1om  line.       SOURCE:   1  –  Cindy  Gallop:  it's  @me  to  rethink  the  adver@sing   business,  The  Guardian,  26/9/12     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.    
  • 20.     If  you  are  interested  in  finding  out  how   mutualis@c  thinking  can  help  your  brand   or  issue…..or  you’d  like  to  help  develop   the  idea,  please  do  get  in  touch…         Twi1er:    @Tomwoodnu1     E-­‐mail:     Blog:     Copyright  Tom  Woodnu1  Ltd.