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Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, January 11, 2006 9:08 PM
Does Peace Sell Product?
Anita Sharpe on Making a Difference

All things being equal -- or maybe not -- will you buy something because the company behind it pledges a percentage to peace, the environment, ending hunger, saving whales, or whatever? In my case, I always look for BP gas for two reasons: I like its 'Beyond Petroleum' initiative (yes, I know, it's far from a perfect company), and BP gas is usually a cent or two cheaper than the competition.

A piece in this week's Dining section of the New York Times talks about the trend of combining cereals with social causes. 'The people who buy these cereals buy them for very subjective reasons,' Lara Christenson, a senior analyst with market research firm Spins, tells the Times. 'For ecological reasons, for sociological reasons. Do they have good labor practices? Do they have good recycling practices? Committed consumers of these things are heavily concerned about that.'

What about you and the people you know? Are your values really shaping how you spend your money?


anita - 1/12/2006 7:51:53 PM
Here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/11/dining/11cereal.html

(You may have to be a NY Times subsciber to access.)
martin - 1/12/2006 4:07:08 PM
Anita -

Add Chevron to your list of gas stations. They have a really strong environmental track record as well.
Janet Auty-Carlisle - 1/12/2006 9:14:15 AM
Absolutely, always have. I am happy to say it is a much easier task now than it used to be that's for sure. I have always supported local mom and pop retail establishements, walked wherever I could and am now moving to a smaller home specifically because I hate living in an area that excludes me from many things if I don't have a vehicle. Fair trade, organic...it's all a trade off and for me that usually means more money. It's a sacrifice I am willing to accept as I have young adult children who see how and what I buy and reflect that choice. There's a really fantastic power point done recently by a Spanish artist, Ria Slides, called Year 2070. You can find it on the web. If you want a really dramatic reason to think green this will probably do it. I have no reason to share this with anybody except to help raise awareness. It was sent to me by another associate and it is very thought provoking. Living la vida fearless, Jan
Farnsworth - 1/12/2006 8:56:54 AM
Yep, I'm right there considering how my dollar makes a difference. I buy FSC labled lumber at Lowes, MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) seafood and fairtrade/organic coffees and produce. However, the Times article didn't suprise me when it also noted that a lot of the cereals tasted awful and that they were equal to the non-cause supporting, mainstream, brands.

I'm still not driving a Prius and haven't given up my car for a bike, but I do pay attention to the social responsibility ties of the folks I buy from.
DK - 1/12/2006 3:40:39 AM
As the marketing mediums become profilerated and the amount of options available in so many products/services, coupled with a growing movement of ethical/community understanding, then these factors are going to be a (growing) issue for consumers/customers.

Purchasing/supply of organic food is rising, investment in cause-markting is also heading north and more transparency is being adopted by multi-nationals. Values are not only being used as purchasing influencers but also by the commercial sector as 'marketing messages'.

Would you be able to provide the link to the news story you talked about above please?

(Sorry for the plug, but), please check out the FREE 'youth reoprt' I did looking at the important motivating factors behind young peoples purchasing decisions (which included ethical and community considerations of the brand/product):



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