Branding for Good were kind enough to ask me a few questions about how you build a sustainable economy and business at the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego. I touch on the larger vision for how we can engage the entire private sector in scaling social change, the role we must play with our own businesses, and how social media has made this possible in news ways.
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Every month a raft of new apps appear to make your life easier. Fortunately, apps also appear to make the lives of others easier. And Charity Miles stands out for the way it makes giving seamless in one’s life. Here’s how it works.
2. The athlete sets their iPhone on GPS to allow them to be tracked as they participate in their activity. Walkers and runners get 25 cents a mile, while bikers get 10 cents a mile that will go to their specified charity.
3. When they are done with their activity, they agree to be “sponsored” and their miles will be covered by a sponsor of Charity Miles.
4. A message can then be automated or edited to express to those on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook what the athlete accomplished along with a sponsor message.
This marriage of healthy activity is perfectly suited to employee volunteer programs and empowers employees to build their brand’s reputation by promoting their own efforts. With giving seamlessly integrated into lifestyle or activity, the potential for scaling contribution is huge, to the benefit of those involved and the lives of those they change.
That’s the thing about what’s new or the latest. You think that just by embracing it you’re doing enough to keep up with the market. But sadly, as the half life of social technology shrinks, the need to stand out even within the context of the latest and greatest is increasingly the only way to earn and keep attention on your brand.
That’s why I love this artful use of Pinterest by perennial news-maker, Uniqlo. Somehow they managed to co-opt social media itself to make your participation part of their design aesthetic, rather than the other way round. By doing so they reinforce their compelling brand image as a design thought leader that is unconventional, street-wise, and one step ahead of the latest and greatest social technology.
So before we get transfixed by the unblinking eyes of the latest shiny squirrel, play with it a bit and discover how to say something unique about ourselves. To that end, here’s three questions to ask yourself:
1. How can a social network be re-purposed to communicate your brand purpose, rather than merely serve as a platform as they define it?
2. How can you introduce content or a sensibility that is outside the parameters set by that social network to ensure you stand out?
3. How does your brand claim ownership of a proposition that always puts you ahead of the competition no matter what technology comes along?
Head-scratchers to be sure, but the answers lead to eye-catching solutions for your brand.
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