On the 11th of November 2015, at Towards 2020, its global conference in Antalya (Turkey), the International Co-operative Alliance has announced the launch of "Building a Better World Now", a global marketing campaign to promote the co-operative identity. Alliance Director General Charles Gould explained how the campaign aimed to raise awareness of the model. “The early co-operators were visionaries, they asked an important question – what if? What if the world were different? We believe that question is still relevant to people across the world. We believe that these people are open to the co-operative message,” said Mr Gould.
The ‘Co-operatives for a Better World’ marketing campaign is currently piloted in four countries: USA, Argentina, India and Japan, with another ten potentially signing up to the campaign in January next year. The campaign originated in the Alliance's Co-operative Round Table, an Alliance working group and think tank of leading co-operators from primary co-operatives. The campaign was initiated by Round Table member Howard Brodsky from CCA Global Partners, a US based purchasing co-operative that provides access to innovative products, systems and services for other co-ops.
Howard Brodsky: “We know that the co-op business model without question is a better model. We are co-operatives and, more than any other business, provide a better quality of life to people, underpinned by sustainability and democratic control.” Mr Brodsky told delegates at the conference that Millennials saw inequality as the most important current issue. This demographic represents one third of the world’s population and in ten years’ time will make up 75% of the workforce in the world.
“Their values are aligned with co-op values,” said Mr Brodsky. “We have an economic model the world is looking for with social and economic equality.” He highlighted that the emphasis should be on why co-operatives do what they no, not what they do.
“We tell the world what we do. At the heart of what we do is […] put the human beings at heart of the economy. What is our vision for 2020? Co-operatives for a better world. We have a plan to make this happen now. We need to start telling our story, by inspiring our employees, then talk to our one billion members, our biggest stakeholders along with employees.
“One great story can be shared with a million people instantaneously with social media. We’ll make the co-op model the most respected model in the world. It’s our responsibility to take the message to the world, and increase public recognition for general support and consumer choice.”
The campaign is intended to be highly customizable. Co-operators worldwide are invited to use the campaign's tool kit, inclusing videos and promotional files in PDF format. The campaign has taken off with pilot countries Japan, Argentina, Finland and India launching customized videos, based on the common template provided by the campaign.