Outside Magazine's 'Best Places to Work' and Cause Marketing

The electrons were barely dry on yesterday’s post about cause marketing and Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list when I got an email from a friend in the outdoor business. ‘What about us?’ she asked.

Indeed Outside magazine also publishes an annual list of the ’50 Best Places to Work.’ Outside’s list is based on surveys of employee benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, community-service programs and more.

More than either the Fortune list or the list from Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Outside’s list is made up of very small companies. Take away Eddie Bauer and Chesapeake Energy and no other company on the list has even 1,000 employees.

Not surprisingly because of the emphasis that Outside puts on community service and environmental initiatives, this list also features a number of firms that do cause marketing.

By my count, four of the top ten and 23 overall use cause marketing as a part of their marketing mix. The full list follows.

What can we conclude from the fact that three ‘best company’ lists feature so many cause marketers? Frankly, I’m going to be cautious and say that the criteria that all three lists used to select their best companies slants towards firms more likely to do cause marketing.

And I’m not even going to try and draw the causation arrows. Does cause marketing yield good companies or do good companies yield cause marketing? Truth be told, there’s just not enough information here to say.

That said, I think we can nonetheless conclude that one of the earmarks of good companies is that they frequently are also cause marketers.

3 Sterling-Rice Group
5 Clif Bar
7 Groundspeak
8 Skullcandy
10 Colle + McVoy
11 Kashi
13 New Belgium Brewing
19 Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners
20 USANA Health Sciences
26 Fuse
29 Osprey Packs
34 Keen
38 Patagonia
39 Carmichael Lynch
40 Brooks Sports
41 Livestrong
42 Smartwool
43 Mireball
44 Camelbak
45 Deckers Outdoor
46 Nixon
48 Eddie Bauer

As before, I ask that you backstop me by going to Outside’s website and looking at their full list. If there’s companies on their list but not mine which you believe utilize cause marketing, please comment below or email me at aldenkeeneatgmaildotcom.

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