Competing on Social Purpose
Journal Entry Instructions You are required to read the attached articles and do a journal. The
objectives of doing the journals are to organize thoughts and think
critically. The journal entry on each article should consist of :
(a) Summary AND analysis of the content of the article (using bullet
points is fine).
(b) Critical thinking related to the article (e.g., criticism AND examples).
(c) One good question to raise in the class ( Prepare your own answer
for the class).
Please make sure you have ALL three sections for each journal entry (a,
b, and c). Each section should have a minimum of 220 words.
Competing on Social Purpose
a) Summary and Analysis
The article discusses the recent trend of business attempting to pick up social purposes to associate with their business to promote profit, sales or other functional benefits. This is because there is a shift of customer preference on the brands they wish to associate themselves with. The article establishes that the business models that had a social purpose initially incorporated into their businesses show a steady growth rate and do not face the challenges of competing on social purpose. Such companies include TOMS, Warby Parker, and Patagonia.
The challenges of competing on social purpose tackled in this article are mostly encountered by businesses that are trying to develop social purpose strategies after running for a while without any. The article defines three fields in which managers should focus on to create effective social purpose strategies which include:
· Brand heritage – This revolves around the merger of the companies’ principal product/ service’s features and the nature of the social purpose strategy. The more compatible they are, the easier it is to come up with an effective social purpose strategy.
· Customer tensions – This revolves around active knowledge of the social tensions facing the target market.
· Product externalities – This revolves around active knowledge of the indirect costs or benefits that are linked to the company’s product/ service. This is more likely to affect companies dependent on 3rd party interactions.
b) Critical Thinking
Studies have established that the modern day consumer is more likely to associate themselves with and/or buy products from companies that have a defined social purpose that addresses societal tensions or public issues. This speaks to the shift in consumer trends in which is directly linked to their psychology. For this purpose, it is integral for managers to focus on a few characteristics of purpose-driven growth. Firstly, it is important for managers to understand that once a social-purpose association to a brand is established, it is misguided to change/ shift course. This connection is important the consumers to the extent that sudden shifts in social purpose strategies could challenge consumer loyalty. Thus it is important to select the appropriate strategy.
Another element to keep in consideration is that whilst there is a significant shift in consumer trends, there is no certain way to assess market potential and benefits. Companies that have successfully employed social-purpose strategies have illustrated growth whilst the companies that have failed to apply appropriate strategies have faced persecutions on social media and recorded drops in consumer rates, however, these do not establish definitive data. Most data on the success/ failure of social-purpose are collected through consumer surveys rather than customer behavior effectively making them less credible.
c) Question to Class
How can the role of a brand defines the significance for a social need?
A social-purpose strategy can not only determine the value of a brand, but also define roles of the particular brands. Brands directly aid managers in the choice of their strategies and the assessment of the impacts thereof. There are four ways in which a brand may create value for the social purpose which include:
· The provision of choices is one way in which brands create value for their strategies where the existence of different brands allows for consumers to meet their needs and satisfy any relevant social tensions existent that they may need to address.
· Brands that have an established link with a given social-purpose also define the significance of the social need by influencing the mindsets of the public through consumer participation.
· Brands also have the ability to generate appropriate resources relevant for the tackling of the defined social needs. Resources are inclusive of talent, time, finances, relationships and networks, and ability.
· Improvement of conditions to address the established social purposes can also be facilitated through brand value. This can be done via the association of certain brands with organizations and individuals to form the face of the frontlines of an entire social tension.