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You’ve probably seen this video by now. Simply titled, “This is a generic brand video,” the good people at Dissolve Footage have given us a 2:49 look into cookie-cutter model some companies have adopted to make themselves appear relatable, profitable, and endearing. Stock music, played over stock footage, with ambiguous yet moral sounding statements spoken by the world’s deepest and most credible sounding voice.
When I was ten my dad came up stairs from the garage with a look on his face I knew all too well.
Someone was in trouble.
My brother and I exchanged panicked glances as my father calmly asked us to walk down the stairs with him. Step by step my mind raced through the last 24 hours, what had I done wrong that Dad could have possibly found out about? As I stepped off the stairs and turned to face my father, my eyes snapped to the garage wall where in incredibly dark ink was scrawled J.M.V.
My initials. In ink. On. The. Wall.
I didn’t get in trouble that day, I wasn’t sent to my room, I didn’t cry and beg for mercy, instead I watched as my dad sat down in front of my 8-year old brother to point out the initials were in his handwriting, and to ask why he had tried to frame me.
You see, as a company you can try as hard as you want to appear to be what people want you to be. You can spend millions on advertising — certainly companies do just that — but what will create loyal supporters and attract better employees is a company whose business practices speak for themselves.
Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS, touched on this very principle…
“Conscious capitalism is about more than simply making money—although it’s about that too. It’s about creating a successful business that also connects supporters to something that matters to them and that has great impact in the world.”
I’m not asking you to change what you do, if you make cardboard boxes, please keep making cardboard boxes, but do it in such a way that people want to partner and support the way you do business, and the way your business effects the world.
It’s not too late for you to be a positive influence on the world.
I don’t know how, I’m sure you pay someone to think of just that, but whether it’s how you handle your factory’s waste, or the way you decide to invest your surplus into your community, every company, and every employee has the potential to be a part of a great and positive impact on the world around them.
By James Vore