Our environment is melting away, small artisan and high quality “shops” (farms, journeymen…) are slowly disappearing – well you know the story. While the woes of these happenings are becoming less and less disputed the solutions are not becoming any clearer that I can tell. There are still some who see this as simply the market economy and make some valid arguments – for one of my favorite back-and-forth discussion on this “Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Business” there is a spirited discussion between Milton Friedman, Whole Foods' John Mackey, and Cypress Semiconductor's T.J. Rodgers (http://www.wholefoods.com/blogs/jm/archives/2005/09/).
Another great recent article in Fast Company (July/August 2007) by Charles Fishman (auther of The Wal-Mart Effect) talks about the $15 billion dollar a year bottled water industry and the branding psychology behind it. What seems like a healthy choice quickly becomes an environmental and humanitarian crisis. Fishman points out that bottled water is a recent invention, like the iPod and 10 years ago we did not know about it or “need” it – now it is the must have lifestyle accessory – both the water and the iPod. The issue with the water is that "we" (I buy it by the box) are spending billions, producing plastic and shipping something around the world (all steps eating fossil fuel and resources) for something that runs in our homes and offices - thought provoking to say the least. Read it here and let me know what you think: (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-message-in-a-bottle.html).
So my question is this. How does a research, marketing and advertising shop like Sentient along with our clients build worldwide brands, reach out to consumers, built market share and all that other stuff and be part of the solution and not the problem. Let me know what you think, please!