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Afdhel Aziz is a thought leader, writer, speaker, consultant and board advisor with 20 years of experience as a visionary marketer at companies like Procter & Gamble, Nokia, Heineken and Absolut Vodka. Although he had made world-class pop culture partnerships with everyone from Lady Gaga to the TED conferences, he felt he could add more to society.
This search inspired him to co-write Good is the New Cool: Market Like You A Give a Damn. The book's success led Aziz to quit his job and pursue his own purpose. Now he's on a mission to help companies and individuals find meaning and purpose in their work and life.
Aziz is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and Co-Founder and Chief Purpose Officer of Conspiracy of Love. The purpose consulting supports a long list of clients, including well-known brands like Adidas, Red Bull, Oreo and Microsoft, for Fortune 500 companies like Unilever, AB Inbev, Mondelez and Diageo.
"Goodisthenewcool.org is now a global movement for good, with events and podcasts in partnership with Soho House, conferences in LA, Sydney and Melbourne, and an online community of 20,000 dedicated business and cultural leaders," says Aziz.
Aziz spoke to Jessica Abo about Conspiracy of Love, why companies should take the "good is the new cool" approach, and why it's not too late for companies to do better.
Jessica Abo: Tell us about your book Good is the New Cool: Markt wie Sie.
Afdhel Aziz: It's an exploration of the whole world of purpose-driven marketing. Today more than ever, brands are asked to take a stand. For example, when you think of Nike with Colin Kaepernick, consumers are asking brands to take a stand on social issues. We wanted to explore that in this book that I wrote with Bobby Jones. The expectation that brands will help solve societal problems has never been higher.
According to Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter, consumers are demanding that the brands stand up for their values in their lives. Consumers vote with their wallets, we would like to say, and make sure that this brand is better at solving problems, whether environmental or social, when they invest in a brand's products and services. Right now there is an incredibly high level of control over brands and expectations continue to grow.
What are some of the biggest mistakes brands make?
Aziz: One of the biggest mistakes brands make when venturing into this area of social impact is positioning themselves as a hero and riding a white horse to solve the problem. We like to preach to our customers the maxim “Be the helper, not the hero”. Brands that do this are finding a way to make consumers the heroes of the journey to provide them with platforms that help society at large. That way, you can avoid looking overly selfish talking about how you are going to attack this problem.
Do brands have to be perfect to do good?
Aziz: Brands don't have to be perfect to do something good. In fact, I would say that no brand is perfect any more than anyone is perfect. It is important not to be paralyzed by lack of perfection. Every brand has its problem, has its problems. As long as they are transparent about it and say, "Listen, here is the plan we are making to solve this problem. Take it with you while we do it. But in the meantime, here is another problem that we really do." want." Will you help us to solve in society? "This humble attitude really helps people understand the genuineness of your intentions, and that really makes a difference in asking people to participate.
What advice do you have for brands that want to do something good in the world?
Aziz: The advice we have for brands that want to do something good in the world is first of all to listen. Listen to your employees, listen to your consumers, look at the culture of the world today and try to see people as citizens, not just consumers. Think about the wide range of issues that interest them, and then find out how you as a brand can help solve some of those issues too. We'd like to say that brands should solve problems from everyday life to epic. It doesn't all have to be about climate change and racial inequality. Also, maybe there are everyday issues that you as a brand can be involved in to make people's lives a little bit better.
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