Honourable brands?

Honour  With the banking forest reduced to matchwood, and Westminster on its knees it might be prudent for other authority figures to keep their heads down. Because within days the unimpeachable guild of journalists (Ha!) will be searching for fresh meat.  But it did give me pause for thought about the vacuum and whether brands were capable of stepping in to fill it.  Corporations seem to have moved on from the mantra:  we're just here to give a return to shareholders. They want to be good corporate citizens. With corporate citizenship in such disarrary what are the odds of brands becoming honourable members?  The notion of the honourable member is probably an anachronism. Because clearly being caught behaving dishonourably isn't a sufficient deterrent for UK politicians.

But is it possible for brands to make such a contribution to the community that they could incur the kind of trust and respect that members of parliament were once presumed to have?  I can't see that it is totally beyond the bounds of possibility. Nature abhors a vacuum. We need authority figures. Why should they continue to be the usual suspects?

What has a brand got to do to convince the public of its honourable credentials? Most important would be the pursusing of the good of the community over its narrow self interest – that's where the politicians went wrong and compounded the felony by trying to conceal their tracks. Then I suppose it would be a culture of transparency and accountability. This doesn't need to be done by a regulator – that's Parliamentary managerialism of which we have had more than enough. And it would involve social engagement which was more visible than talking about itself.

By no means impossible. I would suggest start slow and work up and don't on any account overpromise. Humans have a need for their leaders to behave honourably. I really don't see why brands shouldn't be able to take up the challenge.



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