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Altruism is Good Business

John Osborn – CEO, BBDO NY

Rob Biederman – Co-Founder & CEO, HourlyNerd

Jeff Buchan – Associate Manager, Global Industry Relations, Google; ARF Board Member

Moderator: Steven Wolfe Pereira – VP, Brand Strategy & Marketing Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud; ARF Board Member

Jeff Buchan, Google: “Companies, especially companies hiring Millennials, want to do cool things that matter.”

“Altruism has to be integrated. It can’t be an afterthought. People want to understand the values of a company.” He outlined Google’s mission: To empower people by connecting them to information. This has led to the development of driverless cars, smart contact lenses for diabetes patients, and so forth. “People want to make an impact and have work imbued with meaning.”

John Osborne, President & CEO, BBDO NY: “Altruism is a conscious choice you make. You either do it or you don’t. It’s intrinsic and integral to all of our clients.” It’s not enough to want to do good, you have to pay attention to how it’s done. “Altruism is not just for non-profits anymore.” The majority of the world is driven by innate, emotional desires.

Rob Biederman, Co-Founder & CEO of HourlyNerd, defined the company as a marketplace with 20,000 business consultants.

“For a new generation of consumers, the assumption is that the product is going to work.” It’s not driven by product differences. “They also want to see some personally relevant mission.”

John Osborne: Altruism is also a recruiting tool. Potential sources of the next wave of employees.

A lot of our companies are actually talking directly to millennials, whether they’re on a panel or they’re employed in the workforce.

Steven Wolfe Pereira, VP, Oracle Data Cloud: “The millennial profile is increasingly a multicultural one. Over 50% of all millennials will be of black, Latino, and Asian descent.”

More brands are becoming B-corporations than ever—Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, Unilever is looking to do it.

Rob Biederman defines altruism as “to have a deeper mission that is legally part of your contract.”

John Osborn: “70% of millennials are willing to pay more for a brand that’s doing good for the world.”

People are willing to switch brands, so long as the brand is providing something substantive to the social agenda of making the world a better place.

Brands are reformulating products—making them more authentic, their ingredients more organic.

Steven Wolfe Pereira: “Doing good is good for business.”

Jeff Buchan tweaked the Spiderman theme: “With great innovation comes great responsibility.”

How can we use our capabilities for social good? Reflect on what it is you do best, and then figure out how you can use that for the greater good, whether it’s mobilizing after a natural disaster or increasing voter turnout.

Steven Wolfe Pereira: “Use your business for a force of good.”

See all 5 Cups articles.