Does corporate responsibility require more social creativity?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Some years back, Deborah Doane wrote a hard-hitting article about the “myth of CSR”. In it, she argued that CSR was a reaction rather than an action; that it was essentially a collective response to uprisings against the behaviours and morals of corporate institutions and that it had been encouraged by an historically weak NGO […]

Sustainability: Is your brand asking stakeholders to kiss the frog?

Reading Time: 2 minutes This analysis of the top 612 publicly traded companies reveals that while the conversation around responsibility is now in full flight, the words, for the most part, are well ahead of the deeds. The contrasts speak for themselves.

Developing a re-liking strategy

Reading Time: 6 minutes Some brands and some sectors have baggage. They’re seen as bad. Or they have a reputation for behaving badly. Or they are still trying to win back confidence after a disaster. Or they’re part of a sector that people don’t like. Or a segment of the population would like them to go away. For whatever […]

Purpose, People or Profits: The tough choices facing brands today

Reading Time: 5 minutes There are those who continue to frame the role of business in purely commercial terms. Business is hard enough, and the demands of shareholders and the markets so insistent, these people say, that companies need to avoid the ‘distractions’ of infusing a moral platform into what they do. They should just get on with making […]

Planning to expand your brand? 7 things to consider

Reading Time: 5 minutes As marketing teams finalise plans for the year ahead, the logistics of making growth happen should be strongly influencing the targets you set. Most of us would agree there are four ways to strategise for growth: increase the share you hold in the markets you are strong in; develop new products for those markets; extend […]

Brand priorities. An increasing dichotomy

Reading Time: 3 minutes This thought-provoking presentation includes some interesting observations on the contrasting effects of brands on the world. On the one hand the Y&R planners point out, brands are responding to consumer expectations that they will drive social change, spending around $18 billion a year on charitable efforts and using their financial clout and influence to affect […]

Balancing brand behaviours

Reading Time: 3 minutes Your word is your brand. Or rather, if the words aren’t right and your consumers depend on them for vital information, your brand will quickly find itself in the crosshairs of regulators, activist groups and annoyed consumers. The recent case concerning the contents of herbal supplements is more than an argument over percentages; at its […]

20 questions for activist brands

Reading Time: 3 minutes As more brands seek to engage in what Denise Yohn has referred to as the “cultural conversations” of today, they encounter reactions ranging from strong endorsement to cynicism about their motives. Starbucks, for example, hit turbulence with its Race Together campaign. (There’s an excellent analysis of why here.) Levis on the other hand seems to […]