“If you see threats and obstacles, then you start to act in that way. But if you see opportunities, you may gain substantial credit for recognizing possibilities,” says Senior Vice President Marketing, Lauri Toivonen from the Finnish retail company S Group.
S Group ordered a piece of deep and objective research on how chopped tomatoes (of the type the company sells) are produced and how the supply chain works in practice.
Someone might have seen a massive risk in doing this, and possible human rights issues ahead, but S Group saw the possibility of having an impact on how things are done globally by raising any problematic issues for debate.
“Debate is something that develops the world, and when you create debate, you are a part of the world,” says Lauri Toivonen.
As well as attending to shareholders and customers, companies nowadays operate in multiple markets, for example in markets for employees and for reputation. Just carrying out campaigns and individual deeds is no longer enough, responsibility must be the core element of a company’s existence and way of being.
“Value chains are not as simple as we used to think. We need to succeed in multiple dimensions and on many frontiers. A bad reputation has quite a substantial cost for companies,” says Dr Pekka Mattila, Professor of Practice at Aalto University School of Business and GMD of Aalto EE.
Responsibility is also not just a cost.
"If you really want to be responsible and sustainable, it requires very good processes. And that creates efficiency and value. These are valuable tools to make processes more efficient,” says Lauri Toivonen.
For further tips and views on how responsibility, sustainability, and marketing go, or should go, together, watch this webinar with Pekka Mattila and Lauri Toivonen.
You will find out what a bad reputation really costs, and who are the frank villains and the unknown heroes. Also discover some more concrete ideas, and hear some tips about how S Group has integrated responsibility with the company’s mission and action.
Aalto EE and Aalto PRO has various programs for persons in marketing and sales positions to benefit from such as Strategic Pricing, World-class Negotiator and in Finnish Key Account Manager, Digiajan markkinoinnin johtaminen and Myynnin johtaminen. Check out the whole portfolio.