Brands Tackle Hurricane Harvey

posted on 5th Sep 2017

Back in 1970 the NY Times published an article titled “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits” in which economist Milton Friedman outlined her belief that businesses operating with a focus on CSR “reveal a suicidal impulse”.

But what we see today couldn’t be any further from this. From industry critics like Philip Kotler and David Aaker to some of the biggest global brands like Toms and Patagonia, it’s clear that corporate social responsibility is much more than a marketing fad – it’s a crucial business objective.

As consumers we’ve come to expect so much more. We want brands that not only fulfill a functional role, but have a higher purpose too. Brands that serve us not just as customers but as citizens of today’s world – tackling cultural, political and societal issues that would once have strictly been under governmental remit.

When Hurricane Harvey blew through the Texas Gulf Coast last weekend, brands had an opportunity to connect with global consumers without pushing an agenda. Here’s a look at some of the amazing work being done…

Airbnb
With many South East Texas residents evacuated, Airbnb is waiving all service fees for those affected as well as helping to pair evacuees with homeowners willing to host people for free during the storm.

Walmart
The massive enterprise company has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross as well as sending 795 trucks filled with water and supplies to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors
These two global beer brands have traded in canning beer for canning water for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

H-E-B
The Texas grocery store chain has gone above and beyond for their community. More than 100 employees have traveled down to the affected areas to open up mobile kitchens to serve hot meals to first responders and storm victims. The grocery store is also donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross and has started a tear pad campaign giving customers an opportunity to support victims through donations.