The rapidly changing, uncertain times we live in have mobilised people all over the globe who consider themselves as ‘ordinary’ to take to the streets, marching and petitioning to stand up for what they believe in.  It seems everyone, everywhere is thinking about the mark they leave on the world and the people around them.

It’s no coincidence either, brands and companies are part of this uprising and taking a much more considered approach in the way they do business.  It’s no longer just about being seen to do the right thing or by adhering to basic CSR notions – ultimately so people buy your products and services.  It’s actually about really wanting to do the right thing where products/services become the vehicles driving a force for good.

Here at FOCUS, we’re seeing this want to help make the world just that bit better as the fundamental reason responsible for the birth of quite a few startups.  Making money, it seems, is very early 2000s.

Maybe FOCUS was ahead of its time when we were founded over a quarter of a century ago.  From day one our mission was defined to be independent and profitable, doing the very best work ethically.  Fast forward to 2017, and we’re still doing that.   The mission though has evolved over the years.  These days we’re increasingly consciously working with startups right through to globally established brands who are all – in their own diverse ways – enhancing people’s lives and the world we live in.  It’s about the greater good.

The mission statement of these brands is anything but just a bunch of words to live by.  It’s about genuine positive actions.  Take our client Karma Cola, they’re all about giving back to the farmers in Sierra Leone who harvest the cola nut which makes their organic soft drink to help the growers’ families re-establish their lives post-civil war and ebola.  It’s the community who decides how the proceeds from drink sales are used.  A couple of my favourites – building a bridge which kept getting washed away to vitally link villages and educating girls and women who would not have had that opportunity   www.karmacola.co.uk

The women of Boma, Sierra Leone who benefit from the Karma Cola Foundation.

Or KIND snackbars who just gave over $1million to three ‘ordinary’ people who are all making a positive difference to other people’s lives to keep spreading the goodwill so even more people can benefit from the kind acts of ordinary people.  www.kindsnacks.co.uk

Or the human rights barrister who has made it his mission to communicate in plain English exactly what our rights are in an accessible online format to educate, empower and help promote positive change.  www.rightsinfo.org

Or pioneer peer-to-peer car sharing service, TURO, who has not only found a way for people to drive cars they can only dream of or make extra money when their car is not in use, but also to put the world’s 2billion cars to better use. www.turo.com

Or Jonathan Kini, Drax’s retail CEO who is determined to make the UK’s energy industry take positive action so we actually have a sustainable planet our children’s children can inherit.

And the list goes on.  While there’s always been brands and people who have stood strong for the greater good, it seems in these uncertain times their plights are positively resonating like never before.  Ultimately people ‘get it’.  The media want to report it, people want to hear about it and get behind it.

We’re ditching consumerism for consumerism sake in favour of a considered, conscious way of life.  A life with a conscience for the greater good.

Lily Pickard

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