I just read a great report from Trendwatching.com talking about how Generosity is fast becoming the new Green. I manage E-media for a small TV station, and even on this micro level I can see it happening. More and more clients are interested in doing socially consious giveaways in lieu of traditional advertising whether its providing scholarships, home improvements or grants to community organizations. Take it to TV with programs like Extreme Home Makeover and you’ll see what I mean.
Why is this happening? I don’t know all the causes, but there are some great cases laid out in the article. I do think that online culture feeds on sharing and generosity – from open source software, to publishing and sharing your photos, videos, and business tips – have made it where he who puts out the most quality content, or leads a tribe, or organizes to make change (read: sharing, giving, participating) win. They become the mini celebrities that encourage even more sharing across the web.
And now consumers are requiring businesses to do it as well. I do hope however that they do a better job than ‘going green’ (adding a recycle bucket does NOT make you a green company…what a sham). If you’re going to participate…. be generous, but more importantly be GENUINE.
Some excerpts (def check out the full article)
The current financial meltdown has led consumers to be more disgusted than ever (if that’s even possible) with greedy corporate execs who just don’t care. Many in the corporate world are so far removed from what is now an immensely better informed, more opinionated consumer arena, that their (non-)communications, their (inter-)actions, their entire behavior is deeply out of tune with what consumers want and expect in the years to come.
Some fun (US) stats from Reputation Garage:
* As few as 13% of all Americans place their trust in big business (and it’s not much higher for other mature consumer societies!).
* Only 39% of employees in a Watson Wyatt survey said they trusted senior leadership.
* Some three-quarters of US consumers feel that companies don’t tell the truth in advertising.
* Three-quarters of employees in big companies observed violations of the law or company standards in a 12-month period.