Stockholm, Seal Beach, Calif. and Wellington, January 4 (JY&A Media) The Medinge Group, an international think-tank on branding and business, releases its fifth annual Brands with a Conscience list. In the Group’s opinion, these eight diverse organizations show that it is possible for brands to succeed as they contribute to the betterment of the society by sustainable, socially responsible and humanistic behaviour.
The international collective of brand practitioners meets annually in August at a secluded location outside Stockholm, Sweden, and collaborate on the list, judging nominees on principles of humanity and ethics, rather than financial worth. The Brands with a Conscience list is shaped around criteria including evidence of the human implications of the brand and considering the question of whether the brand takes risks in line with its beliefs. Evaluations are made based on reputation, self-representation, history, direct experience, contacts with individuals within the organizations, media and analysts and an assessment of the expressed values of sustainability.
Last year, the group added a unique category commendation, the Colin Morley Award, recognizing exceptional achievement by an NGO. Mr Morley, a member of the Medinge Group, died in the London Underground bombings on July 7, 2005. The award commemorates his visionary work in humanistic branding.
For 2008, the group has singled out the following organizations:
Hennes & Mauritz
Happy Computers
International Watch Co.
Pret a Manger
Dame Anita Roddick
and the 2008 Colin Morley Award for a non-governmental organization is given to Star School.
Announcing the 2008 Brands with a Conscience, Stanley Moss, CEO of the Medinge Group and chairman of the initiative, called them ‘solid indications of the trend towards humanistic branding–this year’s list shows a renewed interest in ethical conduct, accountability and outcome. The 2008 winners remind us that at their essence, brands are for people.’
‘For the last four years, the Medinge Group has named Brands with a Conscience, forerunners to the social responsibility curve, long before the mass media came to champion their causes. This year’s mixture of companies again represents those leading the way, including some who pushed the humanist agenda for years without recognition.
‘The continued shift away from “branding-as-persuasion-to-buy” to “branding-as-how-we-improve-the-world”–with authentic, human considerations at the core of the organization–really gathers pace,’ observed Tony Quinlan, a Medinge member. ‘This year’s award winners effectively counter the ridiculousness of the profit-above-all approach which too many organizations take. Congratulations to such a diverse group, working in diverse sectors–all deserving of our praise and gratitude.’

I am pleased to spread the word on the brands we have selected this year. Ever since I joined the Medinge initiative, now 5 years ago, I have enjoyed the discussion and energy in this world wide group of people. It thoroughly changed my outlook on the role of branding, from a mere marketing perspective, to how a brand can be the focal point of energy for everything I think is crucial in true collaboration within organisations, and stakeholder networks. For me knowledge and change management and branding overlap greatly. Acknowledging those organisations for whom their brand is the expression of how they see themselves as part of society, where the bottom-line is not the only and unique yard stick to measure success, seems therefore a logical extension of my vision on knowledge work, innovation and learning in a globally networked world.
The awards ceremony will take place in Paris next month, where I will look forward to not only meet this years award winners, but also my fellow Medingites again.

One reaction on “Medinge 2008 Brands With a Conscience Awards

Comments are closed.