Corporate Upstanders: Marketing that Breaks Traditional Boundaries
When I saw a hot coffee cup sleeve, marked with a bold design, I wondered what branding message it would carry. A closer look revealed that it simply said UPSTANDER. A new word to our dictionaries, it didn’t bear any meaning for many of us less than two decades ago. When I was growing up, I don’t remember using the word bully with regards to myself or anyone else. I hope my child will be as unfamiliar with it as I was, but the chances of that are realistically slim. On the optimistic side, today I not only know what a bully is, I am professionally and personally familiar with all of the vocabulary that comes with this scenario: bully, victim, bystander and Upstander.
With marketing campaigns breaking the traditional boundaries to reach audiences, it has also created more opportunities for everyone and anyone who has a message. In addition to marketing platforms, a message can be amplified even more based on an endorsement. In this case, Starbucks is a megaphone for social good. They have decided to be a corporate Upstander for National Bullying Prevention Month and educate others about the critically important issue of bullying for our youth today. In NYC alone there are 593 stores within the 5 boroughs, and with an average of 500 customers per day that means that today 296,500 people will see the word Upstander today. With that kind of reach, Starbucks will help enlighten and empower more people in one month than the efforts of the global contingency of organizations and individuals who have dedicated their work to help change this situation. In some way, Starbucks and the strength of its own brand, is the epitome of an Upstander. It is standing up with every cup, and making us all wonder how we can do the same.
And, the best part, they’re not the only ones. While we celebrate Starbucks this month for bring attention to the importance of Upstanders in our communities, keep an eye out for other companies and organizations pulling similar Upstander-behavior. While they may not be focused on bullying, they are embarking more and more in adventures of creating shared value and social responsibility. Do you see it yet?
Ana Zaldarriaga, Sr. Director of Employee Development (Team Lead), works with new project development and service implementation in NYC, as well as in breaking new frontiers outside of NYC. With almost 15 years of service at The Leadership Program, she has influenced and taken part of every aspect of the organization: from curriculum design to implementation, training and internal initiatives, consulting and conference expansion, sustainability initiatives, and culture building within the community.
Ana’s background in sociology and healing arts inspires her to use a holistic approach to organizational and personal change using transformative and servant leadership styles. Ana is a truth-seeker and advocate of change, believing that a better world begins with each individual. As a keen observer, empathic listener, and creative visionary, she synthesizes the needs and goals of those she works with to help discover and unfold their path and purpose.
Ana lives in Brooklyn with her family and is currently getting her Masters in Motherhood from an expert professor, her 3-year old-daughter Raya.
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