This Week In Conscious Capitalism

Added on by Arturo Gutierrez.

Just a quick list of conscious capitalism activity over the past few weeks and some thoughts...

1. Nordstrom deciding to no longer carry Ivanka Trump products

This one in particular is interesting because the ongoing discussion on 45's influence over his business interests while in office. Also see Kelly Anne Conway's remarks, because seriously wtf?    

2. Uber's apology here following JFK surge pricing during taxi strike. And the eventual step down of CEO, Travis Kalanick's from Trump's business advisory council. Also related, LYFT's reaction. 

3. AirBNB's super bowl ad or just about every super bowl ad this year.

4. Amazon Dash Button for ACLU

This is probably my favorite of the examples this week. As it incorporated the latest in consumer behavior and product innovation. It also targets a user base with a timely need.

Regarding all the activity...my interest and questions don't align so much with concerns about how genuine these moves are for the mentioned companies as much as these actions further proving that all corporate strategy moves have an economic factor in mind. So while we may praise a retailer for dumping a brand just remember that finance can explain just about everything. 

 

Related to the above is what's happening to Under Armour at the moment. Perhaps no other clothing brand has diversified and experienced growth quite like UA has. They've made their target clear (opening up offices in Portland) and have signed some of the biggest names in sports. Their growth, fueled by a mix of diversifying at the right time and integrating technology as well any brand, was increasing at + 40% YOY since 2014. How unfortunate would it be if a company like UA were to experience the effects of conscious consumerism after comments made from CEO Kevin Plank. The concept of a consumer's moral alignment affecting a brand should be explored a little deeper (maybe the next white paper). It certainly raises questions about how far a company should extend it's influence on social issues if it leads to financial impact. And if that company is sports or entertainment oriented, good luck not being affected by reactions from celebrities and athletes like The Rock, Steph Curry and Misty Copeland.