Loren R. Solomon is the founder of Advertising For Good, the new marketing resource for purpose-driven brands and non-profit organizations. Having done the for-profit advertising thing for 20+ years, she’s now blending her experience with the corporate sector with the social/non-profit one. Advertising For Good helps non-profits achieve their missions through marketing and advertising and enables corporations to be the ‘conscious capitalists’ they want to be.
A woman entrepreneur who started a creative brand agency (Solomon Says, Inc.) in 1992, Loren is an award-winning Creative Director who has created and executed successful integrated marketing campaigns for regional, national, and global clients including Emory University, The Home Depot, MAP International, Atlanta Ballet, CNN, and NIKE.
She graduated with a BA in English from the University of Virginia, and attended and taught at The Portfolio Center, one of the top Advertising Graduate Schools in the country. Her career included stints at J. Walter Thompson, The Martin Agency, and Grey Global before she went out on her own, quickly becoming one of Atlanta’s most well-known and respected marketing professionals.
For a long time, doing fun, stimulating work and providing a “safe” creative home for both herself and her employees was enough. Advertising gave her pleasure and proved a mighty distraction from deeper, more troubling world issues. But now she’s 45 and she doesn’t want to be distracted anymore. She wants to use her good brain and talent to address and impact the many difficult social issues head-on.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on building and growing Advertising For Good. As the resource for purpose-driven brands and non-profit organizations, we A) help non-profits achieve their missions through purpose-based communications, B) develop and promote purpose-based initiatives for corporations, and C) connect non-profits with corporations.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We bring ideas to life by going back to the fundamentals of why an organization exists – why it was originally created – what is/was its purpose. The world’s truly great corporations didn’t start out with the sole intention of making money – they started out with a desire to provide a better product or service – one that improved peoples’ lives and therefore made the world a better place. By excavating this core principle, and reminding those who work there why their organization exists, we find the root of their purpose-based marketing. We then create a meaningful way in which they can either partner with existing non-profit organizations, or create their own initiative which will not only promote their reason for being – but will do some good in the world.
What has been the most rewarding part of creating and building your organization?
Spontaneously colliding with other experienced business people who are on the same quest for purpose. People who have had their own “ah ha” moment and are ready to act.
What has been your greatest challenge and how have you overcome it?
Meeting with the senior staff meeting of a national QSR and hearing that they were going to spend $20million to promote a new, better-tasting chicken wing. The fact that I knew consumers could care less, and that there was a much better way to both gain brand loyalty, increase sales, AND truly help thousands of hungry women and children in developing countries with this same money, but a better, purpose-driven strategy, was hard to swallow. I overcame it by starting Advertising For Good.
What inspires you?
People going out of their way to do the right thing. People proactively helping others people, places, or animals.
What are 3 trends that excite you?
The movement towards corporations doing good. It’s not just about companies putting money aside for philanthropic activities and making a donation each year – it’s about them really considering why they are here and how they can use their considerable influence to make the world a better place. The public now demands the brands they support to in turn deliver something meaningful. And organizations are listening. This is what excites me and gets me up each morning with a purpose (that a coupla’ strong cups of coffee). Not 3 trends, just one big one.
What is one mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
One? Seriously? OK – one: Trying to hard to find the perfect, “right” answer. Now I know: there is rarely one “right” answer. Mostly, there are numerous good answers – and you can make any of them work or not work.
What is one book that helps you?
I read 3-4 books a week and at a time. I like having all different sorts of voices in my head.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Roy Spence, author of “It’s not what you sell.”
How can members of our community help?
Email me at [email protected]. Go to advertisingforgood.com and join our community. If they know of a non-profit that needs help or a corporation that needs some clarity around their purpose, be in touch.
How can I most help the world?
Triple corporate giving to those in need.
Where are you going on vacation this year?
Loren Solomon on LinkedIn
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.