In a research conducted recently by the Havas Media Lab, most respondents said they didn’t care if 80% of brands would disappear tomorrow. Why brands spend so much trying to “build relations” with customers, and yet these same customers wouldn’t mind if the vast majority of those brands would just disappear?
The primary concern of big business has been to deliver return to their shareholders. And it was believed that by ultimately creating this value, it would like an “invisible hand” bring wealth. Yet, as we can see from practical experience, this doesn’t work. Companies have ignored the long-term negative effects of their actions, in people, in the environment, and in the underlying moral framework of society. Short-term pays off. Quick-wins pay-off. Quarterly positive results pay-off. Finding shortcuts for these pays-off. Managers do not think long-term. They are not evaluated on long-term. Thus it is only natural that their actions reflect a neglect towards the care for the long-term.
Big business as it has been driven for the past decades is morally corrupt.
This has led companies to create what has been coined, already in the 1920’s, as “the organized creation of dissatisfaction”. Free markets cannot exist without a solid ethical foundation. Capitalism has degenerated into self interest.
There is no self correcting mechanism to avoid that. The world does not penalize companies for their violations (i.e. cases of child labour in big sports brands, suicide rates in specific high-tech factories, complete neglect towards environmental safety from mass market consumer goods). Their products still sell. On top of this, the market is so driven by media that even if something gets publicized and openly criticized, people soon forget about it. The market has no memory. Look for example at banks, how they have played with the system and got away with it. How managers from these same banks were awarded hefty bonuses, despite the dismal results of those same institutions. And how these same managers still get employed in other top positions.
In essence, I hope for a better future. Where intentions and actions come together. Choice is still at the hands of customers. And I work towards that future. And what better time to talk about it when 2014 is finishing and 2015 is coming.
For a better future!