Introduced in January 2011 by Alex & Ana Bogusky, Rob Schuham and John Bielenberg, COMMON is the world’s first “collaborative brand”. This is a new form of capitalism that replaces competitive advantage with collaborative advantage. The founders, like those in the Conscious Capitalism movement, believe that businesses who benefit all stakeholders – including the environment, communities and even future generations – have the new edge in business.
In practice, COMMON is a creative community for rapidly prototyping social ventures. Each company will be owned by it’s founders, and have its own identity and look and feel, but they will all share a connection to the COMMON brand, and will operate by it’s social values (or they will no longer be able to use the COMMON brand).
Imagine something like Richard Branson’s 150 Virgin companies, except the accumulating brand value is not owned by any shareholders, but rather to the community owned COMMON brand. The participating COMMON companies will get instant brand awareness, and like an incubator will also receive access to capital and business development guidance. In exchange, the COMMON companies will pay a fraction of a single percent of revenue until they scale to at least a million dollars, at which point the fee increases to 1% and then caps at 3%.
If the COMMON brand takes off, this a pretty amazing deal. And since Bogusky was at one point named ‘Adman of the Decade’ and the Steve Jobs of the Ad world, it is highly likely that you will start to hear a lot about the COMMON mission. This is definitely something to keep your eye on, and learn more about in the three videos below (first the COMMON launch video, and then two TEDx talks from Alex’s co-founders).