What Business Thinks is a mobile-friendly website that gives consumers an easy way to see whether businesses share their values before spending their money.
The problem with marketing values is that, while a majority of people may believe that Starbucks is a nice (albeit overpriced) place to hang out to meet with friends, write, or study, about half of America does not agree with Starbucks’ recently touted positions on guns, race, and homelessness. Likewise, while the NFL once sold football, it now sells racial issues along with the game, something that divides its once unified audience.
I happen to think businesses are better off selling their core product, whether it’s coffee, football, banking, or anything else. Still, whether they voluntarily promote their values or are forced into doing so, values marketing is a “thing” today.
That’s why, last year, I started a database collecting information about various political, social, environmental, ideological, etc., stances businesses are taking. That database now consolidates and organizes publicly available information on over 7,000 businesses.
Last year I also put together what amounted to a prototype of a site at which you could search businesses by name to find out what stands they’ve taken on issues. The information was presented in as non-partisan a fashion as I can manage. It was never intended to be a political site. Instead, it focused tightly on consumer information.
I was on the right track with my prototype, but the interface was terribly primitive. This year, I’ve done it right. [Read more…]