Corporations have an incredible influence on the world we live in, and that's given them free reign to pollute, collude and mislead us, but advances in technology are rapidly making them accountable not just to shareholders, but to everyone. We have constant access to the truth about the products we use and the ethics of the companies behind them, and big brands are realizing that looking great isn't enough. It's time to actually be great. The Naked Brand is a story about how corporations can help save the planet one small step at a time. It's an introduction to a bright new future where companies tell the truth and work hard to create better products and a better planet. That’s how I met Alex Bogusky. As the founder of Common, one of his chief initiatives is to implement a comprehensive sense of corporate transparency. In fact, his team at Common broadcasts their board meetings live online, so their customers can follow their discussions point by point, and hopefully turn complaints and customer suggestions into a conversation. Alex was an inspiration throughout the entire production process, and you can find out more about the film and Alex’s goal at Common by visiting www.thenakedbrand.com.
One of my favorite examples of transparency in The Naked Brand is Patagonia. They’ve taken a completely innovative approach to transparency, and it’s paying off big-time. On their homepage, they advocate their beloved Common Threads Initiative, a campaign that strongly urges consumers to buy less and reuse their clothing, promoting responsible, sustainable business. In addition, they’ve introduced The Footprint Chronicles, which itemizes the production process of every Patagonia item, providing customers with a clear view of their product and the effect its production has on the environment. In 2011 they even ran an ad in the New York Times that said “Don’t Buy This Jacket”, demonstrating their passionate commitment to environmental sustainability.
The Naked Brand emphasizes three benefits of running a sustainable, transparent business like Patagonia. First, it offers an immense benefit to the health of our planet, the one all of us share and love so dearly. Second, it provides customers with a more honest representation of corporate America and thus creates an opportunity to make better products that accurately reflect the customer. Third, and most importantly, sustainable and transparent business is hugely profitable. Consumers today have access to tons of information, and corporations are no exception. Customers cannot be fooled anymore, so it’s time to be great. The best businesses – those that are honest to consumers, responsible for the planet and relentlessly transparent – will be rewarded with happy customers and tons and tons of money. And ultimately, businesses like that will most certainly make the world a much better place.
Jeff Rosenblum, www.thenakedbrand.com follow me on twitter @JRQuestus / www.questus.com