I came across an interesting article last week about how Coca-Cola Ltd. is shedding the famous red can in an effort to revamp it’s brand while pledging millions of dollars towards polar bear conservation. Is this the future of business? You better believe it.
Consider this. There is a solid argument that the polar bear will become extirpated from the wild before the end of this century. Since 1993 Coca-Cola has used the polar bear as part of it’s marketing campaign during the holiday season and the winter Olympics. How do you think consumers will view Coca-Cola if they continue business as usual and say in forty years the polar bear no longer roamed the arctic because of humans? Coca-Cola would look like a faceless corporation that reaped billions in profit while one of the world’s most iconic animals was crushed. Such an outcome would devalue the Coca-Cola brand and ultimately hammer the bottom line. Instead, Coca-Cola is being proactive, recognizing the science and being well aware of where the public consciousness is heading.
Only time will tell if Coca-Cola’s move can help the polar bears and ultimately move more Coke products. Regardless, Coca-Cola is positioning itself as a company that is actually doing public good beyond the means of traditional business operations. Coca-Cola will pledge $2 million over five years, with a promise to match donations from the public, into funding research programs in the High Arctic with focus on polar bears.
As consumers, we vote with our wallets everyday, and that is the ultimate expression of democracy. As we support those companies who are doing something to make the world a better place, over those who do not, it will not take long for even the most rigid companies to take notice. The days of only making a good product or delivering a decent service is coming to an abrupt end.
Of course I am vastly simplifying the situation, and by no means do I think Coca-Cola is going to save the world with this one project. Plus, 2 million over 5 years is a pretty insignificant sum of money for Coca-Cola. Regardless, this is a bold move by Coca-Cola.
So the next time you have to chose between Coke or Pepsi, who will you chose?
Read the article: Coke changes can, offers millions to protect polar bears