Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Going for "Good"

Good is in. And big brands want to be associated with goodness. In just the last week, ebay launched WorldofGood.com, Weight Watchers launched Lose for Good, and now Starbucks is launching Good Sheet.

What’s going on? Why the sudden focus on good. We’ve talked before about do-good consumerism. My colleague, Carol Phillips, who knows millennials calls them a generation that seeks to make a difference. These promotions are aimed at fulfilling that aspiration.

I’ve already written about World of Good. Lose for Good is aimed at turning Weight Watchers' customers weight loss into weight gains for those in need. For each pound lost at Weight Watchers during the 6-week promotion, the company is donating a pound of food to Share Our Strength, which works to make sure no child in America grows up hungry, and Action Against Hunger, which provides immediate and long-term solutions for hunger to people around the world.

Good Sheet is a brand new, free newspaper to be distributed at Starbucks that the company hopes will start conversations among its visitors – while they’re in the store or after they leave. The promotion launches just in time for the November election and features an article a week about a different election topic.

The NY Times reported today that Good Sheet will present the facts without taking sides in the discussion. Starbucks is seen as fairly liberal. So, rather than produce the newspaper itself, the company turned to Good Magazine, a 2 year old West Hollywood publisher. The separation may be important in ensuring customers that the voice of Good Sheet is truly independent.

Different topics may resonate more in different communities, or Starbucks locations. For example, customers in stores in retirement communities may have lively conversations about health care or shoring up Social Security while those in communities with young families may spark to issues like public education.

Good Sheet seems poised to build on Starbucks’ position as the third place, the one in addition to home and work. In this third place, just maybe we’ll have an opportunity to learn about the issues and have a good conversation over a cup of coffee. Seems like a good move.

No comments: