Ironbound Action: San Francisco based Airbnb, founded in 2008, recently updated their work mission to include creating value across all stakeholders – “serving all stakeholders is the best way to build a highly valuable business and it’s the right thing to do for society”. The depth of value creation is at the core of attracting capital and propelling valuations. Serving society, employees, and customers is the most valuable business strategy.
* Two million soap bars are discarded at hotels in the US every day. Soap prevents several leading causes of death among children under the age of 5, including pneumonia and common digestive tract illnesses. Clean the World has been able to make over 50 million full-size soap bars, and distributed them to 127 countries in need.
** Hilton operates over 913,000 hotel rooms, at nearly 5,600 properties globally. Last FY Hilton had $8.9B in revenue, up from $8.1B the year before.
Ironbound Action: Los Angeles based Beyond Meat, founded in 2009, is a leading plant-based meat substitute. Their success is more than simply an alternative to traditional meat protein, but rather a holistic shift towards progressive change. Beyond Meat, named company of the year in 2013 by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, helps consumers positively influence climate change*. In the grand scale of time, companies that compete only for profits are the true fads sinking into extinction.
*Beyond Burger uses 99% less water, 93% less land, generates 90% fewer Green House Gas Emission, and 46% less energy than a traditional meat burger.
** “Climate change will have significant implications for agriculture and food security ... for developing countries, climate change could exacerbate the food security challenges they already experience.” – 2018 Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations Report
Ironbound Action: Sports and team spirit bring different people together into one shared community. Brands can also entrench themselves into these communities by showing their support with team colors. Beverage maker Bud Light has capitalized on this opportunity through sponsored NFL team cans. Bud Light co-branded cans are so popular that super fans outside of home team markets desperately want them too. The tactic of co-branding through team sponsorships works best when reaching consumers faithfully devoted to a team.
* America drinks approximately 325 million gallons , roughly $1.3 Billion, of beer on Superbowl Sunday. Superbowl viewership peaked in 2015 at 115 million and has since been in decline with about 98 million viewers in 2019. NFL received approximately $1.4 Billion in sponsorship revenues during the 2018 season, a 5.1 % increase over the previous year.
* Harry’s grew from 0 to 2 million customers in 3 years. Currently Harry’s is worth over $1.4B. The shaving market is slow to grow at 4.6%. The key to Harry’s success was to take market share away from competitors by creating an overwhelming amount of value for customers, employees, and society.
Ironbound Action: San Francisco based Salesforce.com, founded in 1999, was the first to introduce a new 1-1-1 philanthropic extension to the business model. The Salesforce Foundation is comprised of 1% equity, 1% employee time, and 1% of their product. Since their Initial Public Offering in 2004, Salesforce stock (CRM) has soared (adjusted for splits) from $4 to $160 today. The strong stock price performance reflects phenomenal revenue growth from approximately $100 million in 2004 to nearly $14 Billion in 2019. By being in business for more than just profits, holistic value creation continues to propel Salesforce as the world’s leading enterprise cloud ecosystem.
* Ford's domestic sales were around 2.6 million vehicles in FY 2018, with expectations to sell close to 2.7 million vehicles in FY 2019. Amazon ships 1.6 million packages per day in the US. Amazon’s Q3 revenues were $70B, up from $56B in Q3 last FY.
* Extending the life of clothing by three months reduces the carbon and water footprint by 5 -10 percent. Almost all clothing and textiles are recyclable and yet the average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per year. More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the US. Approximately $400 Billion in merchandise was returned to retailers in 2018, most of which end up in landfills.
* With 3.3B smartphone users worldwide, AR is being positioned to be used and operated through mobile devices. The market size of the AR service market is expected to be worth $50B by 2024, but with the heaviest emphasis on AR maps. As retailers move into the AR space to sell products and provide customer experiences, that estimate will be multiplied.
Ironbound Action: Wegmans supermarket consistently ranks as one of Americas favorite supermarkets. They have grown from a single store, founded in 1916, to ninety-nine stores across six states with over 49,000 employees. Their success stems from excellence in community service, fulfilling the needs of employees, providing their best to customers, and pledging continuous improvements. As Wegmans expands into new markets, they convert new customers into loyal fans. Cool brands do more than just sell or solve a pain point, they create real positive meaning to all those around them.
*Wegmans is one of the largest privately-owned supermarket chains with annual revenues in excess of $9 Billion, which ranks them 28th in sales across top supermarkets in the US. They have the largest market share in the regions they operate in.
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