1025% vs 122% The BLACK and WHITE of Conscious Capitalism
According to Prof. Raj Sisodia companies employing conscious capitalism ideals have outperformed the S+P 500 over the last decade by a healthy number.
In fact the number is 903%
What can this be attributed to?
Citing an article in Forbes the position taken by the authors is clear - 'Only conscious capitalists will survive.' Pretty attention getting given many consumers are still walking around their department stores anaesthetised to the reality of the larger debates and agendas unfolding around them.
So what does an idea that will eventually reach tipping point look like? In order to get exact clarity on this question check out: The tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell. In essence things that reach a critical momentum and then spread like wildfire are a combination of interesting phenomena not unlike those unfolding in the world and the world of conscious capitalism right now.
Having recently attended a CC summit in Sydney Australia and getting a first hand look at some of the market shapers playing in this space it actually isn't difficult to understand this trend and its eventual trajectory.
The way I see it there are 2 ends to this story - the true end and the marketers end. I do not think they will stay separate forever but after reflecting as an example on Unilever's green washed marketing campaigns as a comparison to Patagonia's organic objectives for the wellbeing of all stakeholders I think we are still a way off from having synergy.
CC concepts are based and driven by a deep understanding that business should create multiple streams of value:
As a result the shift in paradigm drives enormous benefit to the entire ecosystem around a business increasing engagement, purpose, creativity and BOTTOMLINE.
How is this tipping point developing:
1.For the first time in the developed world the median age of the population is above 40 years which is attributed to a declining fecundity rate as well as increased life expectancy. This means as people transition from the heady material accumulation years of their lives to a different value set, they as a powerful consumer base are wanting something different from their products and their suppliers. This is called a shift in the psychological centre of gravity and it continues unabated especially in the developed economies - THE REAL END.
2. Media consumption is reshaping marketing strategy. It’s also redefining WHY organisations market. Customers expect more than a story from you. They want to hear about your products, but they also want the purpose behind your brand. Why is it cool? What makes it useful? Who makes it? They want to know it all. By nature, a brand that’s a conscious capitalist has a valuable story to tell and an authentic way of sharing it - THE MARKETERS END.
Businesses that have employed a consciousness strategy to their marketing agenda are different to companies that fundamentally at their root believe in a purposeful way in a multiple bottomline. The amalgamation of the marketers end and the real end will be the tipping point in the business world and will represent a seismic shift in how, what and from whom the world will purchase its goods in the future.
The reflection of the 'conscious marketers' should be whether consumers in the future will be able to digest the ongoing veneer of doing good through their sizeable and powerful marketing machines. (If you look at the diagram above you will see that the Whole Foods Market agenda included an 80% REDUCTION in marketing spend, the 'conscious marketers' are ramping up their spend on projects that look and feel right - there is a difference.) So the real question for the future will be the ability of a consumer to distinguish between flash marketing and green/blue wash and the real deal.
Everyone wants to tell the story of this matrix - the real strategy of Patagonia, whole foods et al, are about developing compelling stories through participation of their customers that become share worthy over time. What could be better than a customer telling another prospective customer about your product, purpose and value - this is the holy grail of the marketing world, marketing 101 teaches us that a recommendation from a trusted friend is more valuable than any advertising budget. Shareworthiness—the rate at which your brand is shared by fans—is the “unearned media” of the new millennium.
Taken a step further, a brand’s success can be measured by its relationship between shareworthiness and participation. Do passionate fans advocate for your brand? Is your brand’s story easily shared? I would argue that the brands that live in the upper right corner of the matrix are all conscious capitalists. What better way to be a shareworthy, participatory brand than to stand for a cause??
On the employee stakeholder front and addressing the engagement malady of the working world - If you love what you do and you love the people you work with WHY would you not want to go to work? Work could actually become the place humans make a difference in the world, reaching potential. Most conscious capitalist businesses address their employees on the love level and as such tap deeply into the breakthrough potential all humans possess on some level.
So far a couple of key business and world problems have been addressed.
If all this still doesn't make sense and sounds a little left field ask yourself: ' would you prefer 1025% or 122%' - GO FIGURE.