The AI-enabled web browser extension helps conscious consumers shop socially and environmentally responsible companies
Submitted by: Miigle Inc
Posted: Jul 11, 2017 – 05:44 PM EST
Miigle+ today announced the launch of its browser app that brings social good brands and ethically conscious consumers together in a shared mission to re-engineer consumerism into a force for social good.
The app, available for download and use on Chrome, benefits companies that support social and environmental causes by making them visible to conscious consumers. App users get a drop down list of product recommendations whenever they shop online.
“Miigle+ empowers consumers to use their purchasing power to solve the social and environmental problems we all care about,” says Miigle+ CEO Luc Berlin, who was born in Cameroon, Africa, grew up in California and now splits his time between London and Los Angeles.
Since a large volume of e-commerce occurs on smartphones and tablets, a Miigle+ mobile app is planned for development. A crowdfunding campaign, recently launched on Indiegogo, will help finance that effort, but Berlin acknowledges its purpose goes beyond raising money.
“We want people to join our mission and take ownership for its success,” he says. “Because when more people demonstrate a commitment to socially conscious shopping, traditional businesses will notice and change for the better. So, by supporting a corporate culture that embraces the Triple Bottom Line, we can transform ‘business as usual’ into business for a better world.”
The AI-enabled Miigle+ e-commerce platform helps such companies, also known as 3BLs, tap into the $1.2 trillion opportunity—according to a 2017 international Unilever consumer study—for brands with clear sustainability credentials.
3BL companies measure success not only by profits, but by their benefits to people and our planet. Many formalize that commitment by filing as a Benefit Corporation becoming a Certified B Corporation and by joining organizations such as the American Sustainable Business Council and Sustainable Brands.
Berlin is hardly alone in his preference to buy from social good companies. The 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study reveals that 57 percent of consumers buy or boycott a brand based on its position on a political or social issue. Of these, millennials—a vital target audience for B2C companies—are the most belief-driven consumers. The study also found that belief driven consumers tend to be high earners and are distributed globally.
A 2016 study by Havas Worldwide found that 73 percent of consumers believe companies have a responsibility to do more than generate a profit; 75 percent believe companies have an ethical obligation to operate in a way that doesn’t harm the environment; and 53 percent avoid buying from companies that have a negative social or environmental impact.
“We don’t care about big brand names,” says Berlin, 34, of his generation. “We care about the future of the planet. We care about social issues. We want to know how your business is making the world a better place. But we’ll never do hours of research to find social good products. But if it’s put right in front of us, we’ll use it.”
Berlin’s inspiration for Miigle+ emerged from a transformative experience he had as a 20-year-old pre-med student from the California Bay Area. He participated in a research program in the West African country of Mali, to help develop the world’s first anti-malaria vaccine. Struck by the desperate poverty of the Malian people, but inspired by their resilience, and the dedication of fellow researchers, Berlin decided to pursue an uncharted career path to alleviate the vast economic disparity that had troubled him since his youth.
But the idea for Miigle+ hit Berlin years later when he considered his loyalty to TOMS Shoes, which donates a pair for every pair purchased. “I love buying products from brands with a social good purpose. But I wondered, why do I only know about TOMS when there’re so many other social good businesses?”
Indeed, the 2017 ENSO World Value Index revealed a chasm between reality and perception in consumer awareness. Survey respondents could not distinguish between companies who have corporate social responsibility etched into their DNA vs. those who regard CSR as little more than a marketing tactic.
Berlin says Miigle+ will help consumers find and shop those authentic social good brands, adding that the Miigle+ browser extension also levels the marketing playing field for newer, smaller, socially conscious brands.
“Compared to big, traditional brands with enormous marketing budgets, those small, new companies are invisible. But with Miigle+ they get recommended to socially conscious consumers who are most interested in buying their products and are most likely to remain loyal customers.”
“For me, it’s always been about utility,” says Berlin. “You’ll meet a lot of people who tell you, ‘I want to change the world.’ For me, it’s about how can I make it easier to help other people change the world.”
Miigle+ aims to change consumption to cause-sumption by making it easy for ethically conscious consumers to discover and shop from socially-conscious and environmentally friendly brands.
The M+ 4 / 22 Pledge
Inspired by Earth Day, which corresponds to the April 22 “b-earth-day” of Miigle+ Founder and CEO, Luc Berlin, our “M+ 4/22 Pledge” is the cornerstone of our corporate social responsibility. Miigle+ is committed to contribute 4 percent of annual revenue and up to 22 percent of staff time towards social and environmental causes worldwide.
What does the + mean?
To us, “+” is more than a mathematical symbol. It is a reminder that with vision + action + perseverance + working together we can all play a role in making the world a better place.
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