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Competing on Social Purpose

Prof. Omar Rodriguez- Vila, Assistant Professor at Scheller College and, affiliated faculty member of Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, was recently published in the September-October 2017 edition of Harvard Business Review.

His article, "Competing on Social Purpose," describes the methods that brands should use when seeking to integrate a social purpose into their product or service offering for customers. 

 "Consumers increasingly expect brands to have not just functional benefits but a social purpose. As a result, companies are taking social stands in very visible ways. Airbnb used a Super Bowl ad to publicly cement its commitment to diversity. Tecate, based in Mexico, is investing heavily in programs to reduce violence against women, and Vicks, a P&G brand in India, supports child-adoption rights for transgender people. Brands increasingly use social purpose to guide marketing communications, inform product innovation, and steer investments toward social cause programs. And that’s all well and good when it works. But missteps are common, and they can have real consequences. But missteps are common, and they can have real consequences.  Avoiding the pitfalls and crafting a successful purpose-based strategy requires the actions and considerations described in this study"

Read the full article here. 


Georgia Tech’s Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business launched in 2013 thanks to the generosity of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and the Kendeda Fund. The Center was created as a catalyst, connector, and enabler, bringing together students, research faculty, companies, entrepreneurs, and other organizations in environments where business-driven solutions can take shape and thrive.

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