Consumers are taking a hard look at the brands they support and more importantly, the values that these brands espouse, and are putting their dollars behind brands that are perceived to be doing good in society. While consumer trust is good for generating brand loyalty and positive word of mouth among consumers, brand trust also has a positive effect on attracting and retaining talent in the organization and on enhancing investor relations.
Especially during the pandemic, consumers demanded and expected more from brands, rewarding those who responded favourably with greater support, and punished those brands whose actions were felt not to align with their values.
This troubled era demonstrates the benefits and the importance of businesses using their power and voice in ethical, transparent and authentic ways that are good for people and the planet while still recognizing the need for profits. There are enormous opportunities for brands to differentiate themselves from others, bolster their competitive advantage, and stay relevant for the future by re-focusing their efforts on what matters to their consumers, employees, and investors alike. This opportunity is particularly pronounced for the younger generation, those on whom future business success depends.
The Victoria Forum is organizing this webinar to explore how brand leaders can harness the power of business to bridge divides and expand our future possibilities. A distinguished panel will explore the following questions:
- Companies are being asked to take a stand on public issues. How do you decide which issues to take a stand on and which to avoid? Are you seeing increasing pressure from customers, employees or investors in this regard?
- Stakeholder capitalism and purpose are not new concepts. In fact, they are now widely accepted. The challenge is to walk the talk. An inspiring, credible, and authentic corporate purpose is often simple to state but difficult to implement. What is the problem between talk and walk? And, what is a possible solution to it?
- In times of crisis, there is also great opportunity. How can brand leaders enroll their customers as active participants, making them part of a movement, rather than viewing them as just consumers?
The Honourable Donna Dasko
Donna Dasko was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 6, 2018.
She is a respected national pollster, media commentator, and private sector business leader with considerable public policy experience. She holds a Ph.D. and MA from the University of Toronto.
Senator Dasko was formerly Senior Vice-President of Environics Research Group Ltd, and built the firm from a small consultancy into one of Canada’s leading research firms.
She served in many leadership roles as Director or Chair of several organizations including the United Way of Greater Toronto, the Canadian Unity Council, GreenPac, St Stephen’s Community House and others. For three decades, she has advocated for more women in elected politics, as Co-founder and National Chair of Equal Voice, and now in the Senate where she continues her advocacy.
She is a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and taught in its Master’s program before her Senate appointment. She is a member of Statistics Canada’s Advisory Committee on Social Conditions.
Senator Dasko was born and raised in Winnipeg. She resides in Toronto and represents Ontario in the Senate.
Stephen Beatty is Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Toyota Canada Inc. He is responsible for Administration, Corporate Strategy and Product Planning, External Affairs, Human Resources, Information Services, and Legal.
Beatty began with Toyota Canada in 1998 as National Manager, Government and Public Relations.
Prior to joining Toyota Canada, Beatty worked for 10 years as Executive Director of the Canadian Apparel Manufacturers Institute and the Canadian Apparel Federation, the Ottawa-based national trade associations for the clothing industry in Canada. In those roles, Beatty led the industry’s efforts to transform into a modern, export-based business. He brought to that task extensive experience in strategic planning, policy development and media relations. He was a senior political advisor in Ottawa, including Chief of Staff to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
Beatty has been actively involved with a number of volunteer advisory boards and was most recently Chair of the Board of Directors of AUTO21, a network of centres of excellence focusing on Canadian research expertise to improve the global competitiveness of Canada’s automotive industry.
Beatty holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in political studies (University of Guelph) and sociology (Carleton University), and a Master’s degree in public administration (Carleton University).
Sara is a mediator and public affairs executive with more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors and association management. Her key skills include a deep understanding of business and communications strategy and execution, stakeholder relations and change management. At the CMA, she directs all public affairs functions – government relations, media relations, corporate communications and reputation management. She interacts with the marketing profession’s thought-leaders to provide strategic insights and tools for Canadian marketers, guides the development of CMA positions on public policy issues, and oversees research planning and projects. Sara has an MBA in finance and is a former Vice-Chair of Toronto’s Committee of Adjustment.
Phillip is Managing Partner & Senior Advisor of Song Sparrow Advisory, a firm he founded in April 2021, helping brands and boards achieve their goals by combining technology, creativity & marketing expertise, engaging a global network of SMEs.
As a multinational business leader Phillip has cultivated a unique combination of corporate and entrepreneurial skill sets applied to a broad range of consumer, luxury, technology, financial services and healthcare categories. He’s worked & lived in Canada, the US and Japan, having responsibilities for North American & Asian markets and global assignments. His expertise includes growing existing entities and brands to their next level and igniting start-ups that disrupt the status quo.
Phillip was previously a Partner, Innovation & Insights at KPMG where he was responsible for launching and leading two new business units creating the firm’s future in business transformation, analytics, AI and digital solutions. He also served as Director of Marketing & Communications at Philip Morris International in Tokyo, driving the business transformation to reduced risk products. Before KPMG,
Phillip was Managing & Representative Director at Designit Tokyo. In addition to leading Japan, Phillip was responsible for Asia Pacific activities and expansion opportunities and was also a member of the Global Executive Board.
In 2003, Phillip co-founded the Japan office of Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Tokyo, becoming CEO & Representative Director. In addition to CEO responsibilities, Phillip also founded the agency’s planning and consulting practice. Phillip’s career experience includes Chief Operating Officer of McCann Erickson Worldgroup Japan; founding President & CEO of Beacon Communications (Leo Burnett) in Japan; EVP Leo Burnett USA; Co-Founder & MD of Rubel & Schwab Communications in Canada. Phillip began his career in Montreal with Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals.
Phillip is a member of the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business International Advisory Board and an Adjunct Professor. He currently serves as Executive-In-Residence at Gustavson.