“Clearly CSR has arrived,” stated the Economist in a recent special report on Corporate Social Responsibility. The report shows that in today’s business world, CSR – now another tool used to add value to the customer experience – is no longer a question of “to do, or not to do,” but rather, “how?”
The most recent corporation to answer this question was Dell. They’ve teamed up with Bill Gates and Bono to introduce a line of (Product) RED consumer computing hardware that will compete directly with Apple’s recently debuted Mac Air.
This partnership creates shared value among the participating organizations:
1. Dell hopes to win new customers and retain old by giving them the warm-and-fuzzy value-add they demand, and
2.The Global Fund/(Product) RED receives funding to further realize their organizational goals
It will be interesting to see whether this strategic offer from Dell is compelling enough to persuade laptop buyers to purchase “socially good” product rather than the technolocially-superior, and aesthetically-pleasing Apple product (excuse my bias – I’ve been a mac fanatic since I got my first PowerBook three years ago). Was it a good marketing move? Will the revenues deliver the value they promise? When it comes to spending $2,000, consumers may choose to spend for the better hardware and save their giving for a separate occasion.