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Customer Service General Marketing Opinion

Conscious capitalism: Where’s the beef?

Lately, I’ve been seeing TV commercials for Omaha Steaks. Then, this past weekend, I saw Kansas City Steaks advertised. I immediately wondered who has the better rep for product, customer service and affordability—and pondered which company would score higher on a “conscious capitalism” index.

A search of several sites produced mixed results. One gave the nod to Kansas City, another to Omaha. Others shouted out preferences for a variety of lesser-known online companies offering meat products.

As a five-year resident near—and fondness for—the Kansas City area some time back, I definitely have a bias in favor of ordering Kansas City Steaks. Nothing in my site review showed a clear advantage for customer service ratings. And, I located nothing directly on point related to how either company has evolved, conscious capitalism-wise.

Knowing what I know, and having built-in preferences, I likely would order from Kansas City Steaks. But, where’s the beef about company culture, social consciousness and the like?

This got me thinking that reviews, currently focusing on quality, price and such general customer service issues as delivery protocols and guarantees, ultimately will evolve to include some type of conscious capitalism rating as well. And, if it can happen in the beef industry—not exactly known for its progressive policies in such areas—it can happen anywhere.

I believe that the pressure on companies to ramp up their levels of conscious capitalism is being fueled in large part by millennial and post-millennial mindsets. Whereas many baby boomers continue to look at price, quality and (now) a variety of customer service criteria, the younger generations are making buying decisions based to greater degrees on how socially conscious, employee benefit-focused, and overall enlightened these companies are—and to what degree they maintain truthful and transparent behaviors.

Don’t get me wrong. With few exceptions, everyone looking to order steaks wants them to taste good. Otherwise, why make this buying choice in the first place? It’s just that, increasingly, folks are moving toward wanting to do business with companies who show good taste in how they treat all their stakeholders. That’s the essence of conscious capitalism, and hopefully the future of our country.

For that, let’s give tribute to the “younger folks” out there as well as a growing number of older consumers who are seeing the benefits of working with companies making a commitment to be good and do good.

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Conscious Capitalism provides a sustainable roadmap for the capitalist system and a clear, consistent path to customer service excellence with all stakeholders—from customers and employees to partners and investors. Its importance and influence are summed up on the website ccsandiego.org: “Conscious Capitalism is a global movement co-founded by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market and Raj Sisodia, Ph.D., renowned author and business leader. With membership around the world made up of companies like Trader Joes, Costco, Panera and Southwest Airlines, Conscious Capitalism is a way of thinking about capitalism and business that better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our world today, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world.”

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Mark Lusky
mark@marklusky.com

Mark Lusky (aka The Happy Curmudgeon)
is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm. He’s a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience, and author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage.

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