The International Co-operative Alliance has announced the launch of a global marketing campaign to promote co-operative identity. Speaking at the Alliance’s Global Conference in Antalya, 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. One of the figures behind the campaign is Howard Brodsky from CCA Global, a co-operative that provides access to innovative products, systems and services for other co-ops.
“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 life, with sustainability and democratic control. The co-op business model is a vehicle,” he said.
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.”
As part of the campaign the pilot countries have launched a video about the contribution of co-operatives. The video is available in five languages.
“Change will not come if we wait for another person or another time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,” said Mr Brodsky, quoting Barack Obama.
• Find out more about the campaign: buildingabetterworldnow.com