Williams-Sonoma: Building on Corporate Responsibility

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Williams-Sonoma: Building on Corporate Responsibility

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How does @WilliamsSonoma's new #CSR report speak to consumers? http://bit.ly/LHOGoz @Calimcg has the answers! via @Companies4Good

Multimedia from this Release

PBteen Giving Pillow

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 8:30pm

CAMPAIGN: CSR & Social Media


By Allison McGuire

The 2012 spring release of Williams-Sonoma, (WS) Inc.’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report didn’t make news headlines. Perhaps it should have, as it marked the corporation’s first report of its kind and there are some compelling results to share.  A more informal communications strategy with storytelling and anecdotal snapshots of impact via social media channels would speak right to the interests of consumers who are hungry for news about doing good with the brands they trust.  Here are the highlights.

Connecting with cause. PBteen (Pottery Barn’s aptly named line of furnishings) created “Giving Pillows” to connect teens with issues they care about—such as the environment, childhood poverty, and community development.  It’s a smart strategy to cultivate younger consumers of the Millennial generation who self-identify as socially responsible and active.

Well done: Through partnerships with the Student Conservation Association, Trees for the Future, the Surfrider Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of America, and DoSomething.org, PBteen donated $5 per pillow cover purchased to the corresponding cause. By working with charities already established in these important spaces, PBteen showed a commitment to aligned causes and dedication to partnerships.

Needs some work: This type of campaign is ideally suited to digital outreach and viral communications.  If PBteen were to expand the campaign, a storytelling campaign on Facebook (i.e. teens can share how they make a difference in their communities) or incentivized digital actions (i.e. watch a video on the Surfrider Foundation’s work and unlock $1 donation) could enhance impact (awareness for nonprofit partners, PBteen CSR work, product offering, and ‘cool’ factor of brand).


Check out how Williams-Sonoma brilliantly engages employees and ramps up sustainability.

Read on, via CompaniesforGood.org.