Knowledge Leadership Weekly Insights

According to an article in this week’s Ad Age, P&G and Unilever are in a “race to show who’s best at saving the world.” Competitive companies’ quests to continually innovate their cause and corporate responsibility initiatives may bolster their bottom lines and differentiate their brands, but in the end, they are ultimately driving toward similar social and environmental goals.  In a way, it is a socially- or environmentally-driven form of cooperative competition or “coopetition,” a concept referenced last weekend at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference.

The same competitive market force that drives companies to differentiate themselves by developing better products or more efficient services applies in the cause and corporate responsibility space.  When businesses compete to offer better goods, the net gain is typically for the consumer, but when they compete by altering their practices, developing more robust cause programs or finding new solutions to pressing issues, we all stand to benefit.


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