A friend of mine said to me the other day that she thought it was odd that her colleague, an individual with declared conservative and Christian beliefs was a strong advocate of volunteerism and charitable giving. This didn’t seem odd to me at all, but it did get me thinking about the issue of philanthropy and political affiliations, i.e. can we identify patterns to explain or predict the causes that someone is likely to support based on their political affiliation. As a cause marketing professional, understanding these patterns explains why a lot of brands are attracted to the specific causes, whether it is reflects the bias of the internal culture of a company or a reflecting of the brand manager’s clear insights about who their customer is and what causes will resonate.
When I was thinking about how to explain the linkages between causes and political affiliation, I was reminded of an important book that was the rage during the 2004 presidential election: Don’t Think of an Elephant! The book explained
I heard the term “stranded assets” recently for the first time in Al Gore and David Blood’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “a Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism” Stranded assets are described as follows:
Assets whose value would dramatically change, either positively or negatively, when large externalities are taken into account—for example, by attributing a reasonable price to carbon or water. So long as their true value is ignored, stranded assets have the potential to trigger significant reductions in the long-term value of not just particular companies but entire sectors.
If you think about all of the businesses or industries whose assets are based on false valuations, it is not always immediately obvious and pretty overwhelming. Let’s take an example I am more familiar with…footwear and apparel. If you consider that the current price of production reflects the cost of manufacturing in developing countries and many of these (largely Asian) nations happen to be very dependent on rice as their primary source of calories. If (or when) the price of rice peaks, as it did in 2008, the ability for companies to continue to operate without increasing their cost of production to accommodate the increased cost of rice is a reality.
Substitute rice for any other “input” into the production of everything from leather to shipping to hotels (e.g. cows need land, shipping needs oil, hotels need clean water) and you realized that in a world where resources are increasingly constrained, from oil to water to land, then we had better start accounting for these externalities to reflect the true cost of doing business.
Note: Since writing this post, the Guardian published a relevant article on the topic of managing natural resources and competitiveness: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/29/eu-environmental-resources-new-recession?CMP=twt_gu
Raging Against The Machine: A Manifesto For Challenging Wind Tunnel...
The first survey of men in the six-year history of The...
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
- Abraham Maslow