Offense: Developing Social Initiative Programs
When it comes to making buying decisions in this tough economic climate, the customer has many choices. We are seeing greater support for Patagonia through increasing sales in this down market and we believe that much of this stems from high levels of customer loyalty to all of the values embodied by our brand: from our high quality products, to our great employee programs, to our focus on conservation and environmental sustainability.1
—Bill Klyn International Business Development Manager, Patagonia
Many of the best practices compiled here for developing corporate social initiative programs have been formulated in response to the concerns and challenges identified by those sharing their experiences in this book, as well as by academic and subject experts. We heard of concerns associated with appropriate visibility for the corporation's efforts, coordination with cause partners, staff time for involvement and administration, potential need for external expertise, expenses for promotions, anticipated public skepticism, and tracking resource expenditures. Major concerns associated with each initiative are summarized in Table 11.1, and the following descriptions of best practices are intended to minimize the potential risks and costs associated with development processes and implementation of each initiative.