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Goodbye/Hello 12: Moving Toward Cosmopolitan Brands

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First, let me define how I am using the term cosmopolitan brands. The origin of the word cosmopolitan is borrowed from the Greek word kosmos or cosmos, meaning world. Through globalization, brands have extended their products and services into new markets. Yet is profiting from new global markets the end game, or will brands come to value the needs of humanity as important to their bottom line?

The next phase will be if brands chose to do this. Will they make the choice to be responsible, interconnected world citizens, knowing that the choices they make inevitably effect everyone? If so, they are becoming worldly cosmopolitan brands that are defined and shaped, not just in the short term for profit margins, but in a longer, more sustainable humanitarian view.

For a really good article on cosmopolitanism and how Noah Bopp, the director of the School for Ethics and Global Leadership teaches his students how global interconnectedness and choice determine brand ethics by using a Hershey's Kiss as an example, please visit Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism by Policy Innovations, an online publication of the Carnegie Council

Brands like the U.S.'s Patagonia, Sun Chips, Ethos Water, Newman's Own, Ben & Jerry's, as well as the U.K.'s Ethletic Sneaker, Ireland's Edun, France's Sur Le Dos Des Filles, and Korea's Beautiful Store and Natural Dream, a growing number around the world are beginning to move in this direction. These brands are making very conscious and considered choices about their impact on humanity. They are building into their brand DNA a code of ethics that is next generation and humanitarian focused. It is a long-sighted view. Given the urgency of global warming, issues of poverty, human rights, and confluence of other factors facing our global human society, planning only in the short term is rapidly becoming yesterday's model.

The new model of cosmopolitan brand building is not waiting for perfection but taking
deliberate, consistent steps, and weighing the good of humanity along the way. It will take influential leaders to guide brand policies, behaviors, and actions as it relates to humanity at large. Informing and educating customers about their policies and practices, and encouraging them to become cosmopolitans is beginning to happen. In turn individuals can make the choice to buy from brands that recognize this worldly interconnected humanitarian view. They can teach their children this one world philosophy early so that they too will contribute to the principle of cosmopolitanism. Brands who build up from a humanitarian foundation will create a more responsible and harmonious system. And that is a really good place for all brands to be and grow into tomorrow.

The new model of cosmopolitan brand building is not waiting for perfection but taking deliberate consistent steps weighing the good of humanity along the way. It will take influential leaders to guide brand policies, behaviors, and actions as it relates to humanity at large. Informing and educating customers about their policies and practices, and encouraging them to become cosmopolitans is beginning to happen. In turn individuals can make the choice to buy from brands that recognize this worldly interconnected humanitarian view. They can teach their children this one world philosophy early so that they too will contribute to the principle of cosmopolitanism. Brands who build up from a humanitarian foundation will create a more responsible and harmonious system. And that is a really good place for all brands to be and grow into tomorrow.

Goodbye to a limited short-term profit only view of corporate brand building.
Hello to a long-term view of strong bottom-lines from humanitarian brand building.

Goodbye to disconnected brands lacking ethics and concern for humanity.
Hello to an interconnected brands with moral compasses guided by humanity.

Goodbye to consumerism.
Hello to cosmopolitanism.