Issue No. 142: the two arguments

A 2PML Poll: The Two Arguments

From the very beginning, Two PM Links has been a daily letter free of politics, bias, or any alluding to my positions on social issues. I figured that we all needed a place free from this type of banter.

But just eCommerce, data, and online publishing are frequent topics, so are brands and the issues that they face. Of the $2.45T in spending power, millennials will spend 70% of their money with brands who stand for causes that they believe in [1]. Millennials are overwhelmingly for the outspoken nature of brands and their social messages. Though, it’s easy to see how their is a generational divide. This particular divide manifested in shock as AT&T’s CEO recently spoke out on issues near and dear to he and his employees. He began with the words, “Tolerance is for cowards.” [2]

An excerpt via Equities.com:

Social issues have been brought to the forefront of consumers’ minds — in part because of the election year — but perhaps also because we are witnesses each day to the strife and indignities suffered by so many minorities and special interest groups. […] Among industries and companies championing women’s rights, animal rights, LBGT rights, or other social issues, I was fascinated to learn that only a few consumer packaged goods — beauty and fashion, and certain food brands — were positioned successfully with brand promises established around social concerns. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream seems to have pioneered a kinder, gentler, and humbler path many years ago.

For every Tristan Walker or Stewart Butterfield or Randall Stephenson or Susan Wojcicki, there is a CEO who believes that her or his expressed indifference is a tactical advantage. Though, in a time when brands are increasingly personified and consumers align with the identity of a brand – it rarely works out that way. There are two arguments that can be made: (1) a business has one purpose and that is to make money (2) a business has one purpose and that is to hire great people and grow. Often enough, it’s the business that prescribes to argument (2) that ends up scaling. And as such, the latter method of leadership tends to lead to more empathy and social involvement.

For those leaders who believe that growth is a matter of fostering human resources and not just optimizing for the bottom line, it’s even harder to separate workers and the causes that weigh upon them. Which begs the question for the founder / CEO has worked tirelessly to build a platform from nothing. Why just sit on that tall and sturdy platform with your feet dangling over the edge? To many, that is the spineless imagery of indifference.

A 2PML Poll: ⇢ you decide ⇠.

See more of the issue here.

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