Saturday, October 9, 2010

Stonyfield Farm Makes Dollars and Makes Sense

The PBLN Summit is well chronicled in an Yvonne Abraham column in the Sunday October 10 Boston Globe. Abraham says the dialogue at the event defied common stereotypes about what matters to CEOs. And digital branding strategy whiz Mike Troiano wrote a meaty post here on his firm's (holland mark) blog about the runaway favorite part of the Summit, a keynote by Stonyfield Farm CEO Gary Hirshberg. As Mike explains, Hirshberg demonstrated a social need (obesity, poor health in America, a compromised food and public health system) and a built business model designed and branded as a response to it. This is not just a "we give some of the profits to charity" story (though they do give away 10%); theirs is a story about making the meeting of a social need part of the product and the branding.

Hirshberg memorably told the business leader audience that there is no barrier and no meaningful distinction between your product and your practices on one hand and public policy on the other. A key part of his message: business leaders need to drive change far beyond their own walls in order to drive markets for sustainable products and in order to (his words) save the world.

We'll get the video of Gary's talk posted here as soon as we can.

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