Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Generous Companies: Twenty years ago, a British journalist called Tom Lloyd wrote a book called The Nice Company, in which he suggested that “nice” companies would finish first. It wasn’t a bad book, although I’ve never really believed that niceness was something to aspire to. Now, WPP-owned design consultancy Fitch has come up with a similarly vague notion—the “generous” brand—and claims that a new generation of such brands is capturing the hearts and pocketbooks of consumers.

This Guardian article does little to explain the firm’s methodology, and I could find nothing at its website, but apparently its research shows that 62 percent of people are disillusioned with traditional companies, and that they are embracing brands like Innocent (a really cool British company that makes wholesome smoothies), Amazon, Starbucks… and Apple!

“There is disillusionment with brands, especially larger companies, [which are] not doing as much as they used to for consumers,” said Tim Greenhalgh, the managing creative director at Fitch. “A new generation of consumers are looking for brands that have a generosity of spirit, attitude and personality.”

Just how Apple—notoriously secretive, quick to sue anyone who even frowns in the vicinity of one of its products, with appalling service and the kind of command-and-control communications culture that appears terrified of anything resembling a conversation—makes the list is a mystery.

If anyone has access to the original research, though, I’d love to see it.

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