Another #M4BW (Marketing for a Better World) Monday post. Out of the World Economic Forum, former Volvo CEO Pehr Gyllenhammar wrote this op-ed at CNN Business, “I brought socially conscious change to Volvo without hurting profits. Other CEOs cab do the same,” (January 22, 2020). I hope that headline alone lures you into the article and a discussion with your students.
Regular readers, and those who have already seen the 17th edition of Essentials of Marketing know that we believe business can contribute to making a better, more sustainable world — without necessarily sacrificing profits in the process. Barron’s recently posted an article on this topic, and while the real thing is behind a paywall, I found this copy online (I hope it lasts there for your review).
After Barron‘s ranked the 100 most sustainable companies (#1 Texas Instruments), it compared their stock market returns in 2019 (+34.5%) with those of the S&P 500 (+31.5%). The article is optimistic that this trend will continue. Why? Some of the reasons given in the article include:
- These companies attract employees — people want to work there,
- They are better at employee retention,
- Good environmental policies lower costs,
- Customers want to do business with these companies,
- Investors want to buy into sustainable companies.
I have a soft spot in my heart for Fargreen. The startup that emerged from the Colorado State University Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program (full disclosure, Colorado State is my employer and I served for many years on the advisory board for this program). I also know Fargreen’s founder, Trang Tran. She developed a great idea to help Vietnamese farmers while also lowering carbon emissions. What is not to like? After winning several business plan competitions, Trang is now moving her business forward. This brandchannel article “Yale on Purpose-Driven Startups: Fargreen — Going Far By Going Green” (May 2, 2016) is one in a series with Yale MBA students.
Read the article about Fargreen. Explain how Fargreen ties into macromarketing, micromarketing, and innovative marketing planning — all major topics in chapter 19.
The website brandchannel has launched a series of short case study articles. A team of Yale MBA students evaluate a purpose-driven startup and offer some marketing strategy recommendations. In “Hugo & Hoby – Quality, Sustainably Sourced Furniture,” (April 27, 2016) you learn about a startup furniture maker that needs to move from making sustainably sourced furniture for friends and family to a wider market.
Read this article and review the recommendations made by the team of Yale MBA students. What concepts from chapter 1 do you see demonstrated in this case study? Can you think of any other ideas for improving Hugo & Hoby’s marketing?