Forbes contributor Simon Mainwaring takes a look at the rise of the #OccupyWallStreet movement and the customer activism it epitomizes, citing the Pepsi Refresh Project as an example of a company working towards social change and marketing itself on the basis of the values it shares with its customer community.
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Over the last several months we have witnessed the rise of the #OccupyWallStreet movement, both across America and around the world, and witnessed its tour of a familiar news cycle. At first, it was dismissed out of hand as a collection of rabble-rousers with no clear or unified intent. It was then re-characterized as a fringe movement with radical demands. It soon became a popular movement, spreading to what is now over a thousand cities in eighty-seven countries around the world. As a consequence, the movement developed sufficient social resonance, on the web and across social media channels, to warrant the attention of traditional news outlets. What is still lacking from this coverage, however, is an accurate articulation of the line in the sand that the #OccupyWallStreet movement represents.
[long_ad_left]Customer and citizen activism, epitomized in the #OccupyWallStreet movement, is tangible evidence of several transformative forces gaining momentum at home and abroad. They all turn on the ability of social media to give regular people a voice, and to scale their message through what is now a wide selection of channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and beyond…
On the positive side, smart marketers have embraced the opportunity to collaborate with their customers, as evidenced by the Pepsi Refresh Project, P&G’s Pamper’s/UNICEF collaboration, and the recent strategic partnership between Pizza Hut and Zynga to support the World Food Program. What each of these examples demonstrates is the rising impact of social media and citizen activism within the private sector. And this is only the beginning…
It is no accident that we are now seeing the smartest brands market themselves on the basis of the values they share with their customer communities. This is why we see the Pepsi Refresh Project, Starbucks Shared Planet, Wal Mart Sustainability Index, Patagonia Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Procter and Gamble’s Click For Water blogovation campaign, and so on. These multinational companies are still beholden to their shareholders and rightly focused on the bottom lines, but they are working towards social change not just because it’s well intended but because it’s well received, allowing them to be effective architects of community…
PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses — Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola — also make hundreds of other enjoyable foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo’s promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
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