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April 23, 2007

What Business Can Learn from a Tree

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Philosophy

It's a wonder what you can learn about life and business when you take the time to sit in a park. I recently did just that and had an epiphany that took me back to 8th grade science. We all remember this simple little lesson: "Human beings breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Trees take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen."

OK, so you're probably wondering what's the epiphany?

It's all about the give and take relationship! The tree and our lungs both give out and it comes back as something that nurtures and sustains our very existence and perpetuates our relationship.

That got me thinking about how the health of my marriage and my checking account both depend on the same give and take principle--and it dawned on me--all healthy things are all built on the same premise. A business is no different.

In fact, our lungs and trees depending on each other is a great picture of what it looks like for a business to make money in a long lasting way that's good for everyone, from the shareholders to their customers and just about everyone in between.

Current research indicates the future of successful business is in sustainability, social responsibility and giving as an active, healthy community member. Consider these stats from Brandweek as you consider ways to strategically grow and market your business.

  • 57% of consumers said they feel more loyal to socially responsible businesses.
  • 52% of consumers said they were more likely to talk to friends and family about socially responsible businesses.
  • 38% of consumers said they'd be willing to pay more for products and services from a socially responsible business.
  • 35% of consumers said they'd be more likely to buy stock in a socially responsible business.

Everybody wins. There's a reason why we like to say it's the "genius" of cause marketing. It works and it's pretty darn smart. We put together packages for some of our clients sharing this simple little fact and offering some seeds in celebration of Arbor Day (April 27, 2007). We depend on customers, they depend on us. If you'd like to know more, give us a shout, we love to talk about this stuff.

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