Defining "Firm of Endearment"

Here is how the authors of Firms of Endearment describe these excellent companies:

What we call a humanistic company is run in such a way that its stakeholders—customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, society, and many investors—develop an emotional connection with it, an affectionate regard not unlike the way many people feel about their favorite sports teams. Humanistic companies—or firms of endearment (FoEs)—seek to maximize their value to society as a whole, not just to their shareholders. They are the ultimate value creators: They create emotional value, experiential value, social value, and of course, financial value. People who interact with such companies feel safe, secure, and pleased in their dealings. They enjoy working with or for the company, buying from it, investing in it, and having it as a neighbor.

The analogy to how people feel about their favorite sports team is a good one. You can find the introduction chapter of Firms of Endearment on FT Press for an inspiring read.