Part II of my guest blog at the SAP Business Innovations for Sustainability blog…
This blog is a follow up to my prior blog Expecting More From Business — Common Wealth Contributions By Business (Part 1) where I discuss the book Betterness: Economics for Humans, by Umair Haque as a new standard for how we measure the contributions of business to society.
In this second part, my I want to investigate how well this framework can inspire thinking for “betterness” by evaluating common wealth contributions of a company I know well since I work for them, SAP. Let me be clear that these are my own opinions, and I do not speak for SAP nor any of the programs described, other than the one I directly support for marketing, SAP HANA One.
First we look at indicators whether a company’s management realizes it needs to do more – are they leveraging cause marketing, and are they reporting in sustainability and social responsibility. The second part of the framework examines direct contributions to the common wealth by operations and products.
Many companies are engaging in cause marketing because they know their customers want to feel like they are participating in something bigger than just being part of a market for a company trying to make a profit off of them. Sometimes this is just shallow “cause-washing” such as 10% of proceeds go to fund some charity, and sometimes it’s much more profound.
SAP has the challenge of many business-to-business companies. How do you explain the impact to the average person in the world of a company that sells enterprise business management software to over 250,000 other companies and institutions around the world? SAP does this by telling stories about the impact its customers are making through the use of this software. Often these are familiar consumer brand names that the public will know. This helps position SAP’s impact as being much bigger than merely selling software.
Two examples of SAP’s brand marketing around “Helping the world run better”. Click images to see original sources. © SAP