Relaunching “What Business Thinks” — know where your money goes

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.

What Business ThinksIn a highly politicized era, businesses (and entertainers) no longer believe its enough to market their goods and services. Instead, they now market their values.

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.

I’m incredibly pleased to announce the relaunch of What Business Thinks, an incredibly user-friendly website that allows people easily to search for well-sourced information on stands various businesses have taken. The site works well on both computers and mobile devices. Using What Business Thinks, consumers can quickly find whether a business is aligned with their values or hostile to them. This is the kind of information consumers should have before spending their money.

The site also has a companion blog in which I spell out in greater detail the information I’m steadily adding to the database. If you follow the blog, you can keep up with developments in the business world.

Because there’s more information out there than any one person can find, making What Business Thinks a continuing work in progress, the site also has a User Submission page that allows people to update old information, correct bad information, or introduce entirely new information — provided that it’s well-sourced.

Please check out the re-vamped What Business Thinks. If you like it, bookmark it and please share it with your family and friends through social media.