Ever since Ben and Jerry came to my university‘s campus to give a keynote and distribute free Peace Pops, I’ve been a fan of theirs. I love them! I bought the books that chronicle their adventure and even pilgrimaged (is that a verb? it ought to be.) to Vermont to visit their two landmarks:
1. The Old Gas Station, where they opened the first Ben and Jerry’s ice cream parlor
2. Their Waterbury plant, where they manufacture their delicious ice cream
It was an experience. Unbelievable! Better than going to Graceland.
That experience led to a fascination with socially responsible companies. The most obvious one was the Body Shop and Anita Roddick (R.I.P.), another fascinating entrepreneur who pushed the envelope of social consciousness in her company’s operations. Others like it include Whole Foods and Stonyfield Farm.
The one idea that most struck me from these companies’ experience was the idea that marketing should be purposeful instead of “polluteful”. To me, the traditional advertising route has always meant wasting a great deal of money on communication means that make our life worse instead of better.
Everyone hates commercials during a 24 episode. Everyone despises flyers stuck under their windshield. Everyone detests going through junk mail.
What’s the alternative?
As Ben and Jerry point out in their great book Double Dip, marketing with a conscience strives to add even more value to a business’s customers. Here are some of their ideas:
- Create a festival for local families.
- Leverage your business as an art gallery.
- Hold magic shows on your premises for kids.
- Hire a storyteller during afternoons.
And then, a question struck me and ramified into various ones.
How can I bake in more value?
- How can I bake more value into my marketing?
- How can I bake even more value through my finance?
- How can I bake even more value into my service?
The most puzzling one is finance. I’m fascinated by it, and I’ll leave it in your mind right now.
How could you bake in even more value for your customers through your finance?
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