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Anne Bahr Thompson

Global Brand Strategist | Independent Purpose and Sustainability Advisor at Do Good

New York, United States

Global Brand Strategist, Accomplished Researcher, Award Winning Thought-Leader, Author and International Speaker.

An early pioneer of the purpose space, a Superbrands Branding Leader, a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader and a GCPIT Global Woman in Leadership, Anne is the author of DO GOOD, which details her pioneering Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship®. She is a listener, collaborator and tireless innovator above all else. Gifted in seeing the potential in people and brands, she invites others to gain new perspectives alongside her and guides them to strategically bring these new possibilities to life.

Today, Anne advises leaders and brands on how to integrate brand strategy, marketing, communications and culture with purpose, sustainability and ESG principles. A former executive director of strategy and planning and head of consulting at Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, she also has previously worked in strategic planning and product management corporate and wholesale banking and began her career at Grey Advertising.

Concurrent to working with clients, speaking and volunteering, she is: helping to advance IAA’s Global Sustainability Council; an Ambassador for Meaningful Business; an advisor to Overflow pbc; on the Council of Aspiration and Inspiration for the Spirit of Humanity Forum; and an active advocate for women’s issues, equity and belonging.

To every client, regardless of sector or size, Anne brings a depth of knowledge and understanding that only comes from interacting with a lengthy list of the world’s most valuable brands including Aegon, adidas, American Cancer Society, Citibank, Deloitte, Emerson, Hard Rock Cafe, IBM, ING, Jameson Irish Whiskey, JPMorgan Chase, Kingfisher, L’Oreal, Microsoft, NBCUniversal, Pearson, Pepsi, Prudential, Save the Children, Scandanavian Airlines, Skanska, Stolichnaya, Symantec, Thomasville, ThomsonReuters and UNICEF, among many others.

Anne holds an MBA from the Darden School at UVA and has taught marketing at NYU Stern School of Business’s London campus. She's also trained in GRI Sustainability Reporting and is a certified Image Consultant. Her writings have been published in Brands and Branding (Economist Books),, Bloomberg News, The Guardian, Journal of Brand Strategy and many other industry publications. And she’s been interviewed on numerous podcasts, radio shows and Fox Business, and spoken at the United Nations, international conferences, business schools and client events.

An active community volunteer, Anne has served on boards and committees for non-profits in both the US and the UK and is extremely proud of the work she has done for non-profit and humanitarian aid organizations.

Available For: Advising, Authoring, Consulting, Influencing, Speaking
Travels From: New York, NY USA
Speaking Topics: All speaking engagements are customized for the audience

Speaking Fee $15,000 (In-Person), $10,000 (Virtual)

Anne Bahr Thompson Points
Academic 0
Author 102
Influencer 81
Speaker 23
Entrepreneur 0
Total 206

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Featured Videos

Anne Bahr Thompson - Integrating Business and Social Consciousness
March 17, 2023

Featured Topics

Company Information

Company Type: Individual
Minimum Project Size: $5,000+
Average Hourly Rate: $300+
Number of Employees: 1-10
Company Founded Date: Undisclosed

Areas of Expertise

Change Management 30.26
CSR 51.75
Culture 30.41
Customer Experience
Customer Loyalty 34.56
Diversity and Inclusion 31.77
Leadership 30.95
Marketing 31.43
Sustainability 33.43

Industry Experience

Consumer Products
Financial Services & Banking
Professional Services
Travel & Transportation


15 Article/Blogs
A Climate Week 2023 Imperative for Brands: Navigating Purpose and Sustainability
September 22, 2023
With the spotlight on our planet's most pressing issues this past week, the demand for action from the business sector alongside governments was clear.

Excitingly, the majority of brand leaders I met are seeking ways to integrate doing good into all aspects of their work. They recognize the power they hold to have an impact and help create lasting behavior change as marketing and communications professionals.

That said, amidst the increasing pressure to grow financial and social value, many brands continue to conflate purpose with sustainability. And although these two concepts are intricately intertwined and mutually influential, they remain distinct. And herein lies the powerful link—the integration of purpose into sustainable practices amplifies a brand’s positive impact....

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Tags: CSR, Marketing, Sustainability

Purpose Is Growing Up: The Inseparable Connection with Product Quality
August 03, 2023
When Unilever’s new CEO Hein Schumacher recently announced that the company was emphasizing product quality to grow margins and volume, many marketers took it as big news…. Could this mean that performance marketing has triumphed and the focus on purpose is over?

Given public sentiment – even with political polarization – there’s little chance of that.

Yet, misconceptions that purpose revolves solely around lofty mission statements, social impact and philanthropic endeavors, detached from core product or service offerings, persist. Without a doubt it’s a misnomer to disregard the vital role product quality plays in activating purpose…. Doing what you say you do and delivering on your value proposition is essential for cultivating trust.

A reset around the meaning of purpose and the role it plays is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, it means purpose is growing up....

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Tags: CSR, Customer Loyalty, Marketing

From Rainbow Capitalism to Allyship
: Five Steps to Sustain Support and Avoid Pulling Back
June 05, 2023
Allyship. With the backlash against Target coming on the heels of the Anheuser-Bush, Bud Light-Dylan Mulvaney fiasco, Pride 2023 presents a perfect moment for business leaders to reflect on what allyship, DEI and belonging genuinely mean to them, both externally with customers, investors and other stakeholders and internally with employees.

Taking a stand is a filter of sorts for all of a brand’s actions and behaviors – not a one-time campaign, month-long event or, perhaps most importantly, reversible decision.… The lasting change that allyship is meant to cultivate comes from collaboration and sustained advocacy. Here are five practical steps for brand leaders to take to sustain allyship and avoid pulling back.

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Tags: CSR, Diversity and Inclusion, Marketing

Earth Day 2023: from short term profits to long-term impact
April 21, 2023
With greenwashing is in the spotlight and increasing regulation focused on curbing it, I’ve been surprised this week to see the number of brands still co-opting Earth Day for their own gain – falling short in promoting the urgent positive change needed to address climate change. Shallow engagement undermines public trust in brands as a whole – including those meaningfully advancing environmental awareness and taking bold actions as they reduce their carbon footprint, invest in renewable energy and support conservation.

So what can companies do to make a real impact and treat every day as Earth Day?

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Tags: CSR, Marketing, Sustainability

From Greenwashing to Greenhushing: Five Guidelines to Embrace Sustainability and Prevent Missteps
April 12, 2023
Even as environment, social and governance (ESG) measures of risk are being politicized in the US, the new European Commission Green Claims Directive will have a significant impact on business and brands – in Europe and across the globe. Understanding the broadening landscape of greenwashing, greenhushing and everything in between is therefore vital knowledge for all brand leaders navigating increasingly complex marketplace challenges.

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Tags: Sustainability, Marketing, Risk Management

Is political backlash against “woke” capitalism working?
March 16, 2023
Is Larry Fink’s 2023 letter an indication that political backlash against “woke” capitalism is working? I’d suggest yes…. And no.

This year, in his annual chairman letter released on March 14, Larry Fink addressed investors and CEOs together in one message. After being called out by both sides of the argument when it comes to taking action on climate change, Fink appears to have taken a cautious step back with his words at first blush. And while there are references to sustainability, ESG as a term notably is missing.

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Tags: CSR, Risk Management, Sustainability

Brand Leaders: Choose transparency over greenhushing
Anne Bahr Thompson
January 13, 2023
As people progressively call on the business sector to take greater action on climate change and social issues, brands increasingly are marketing and communicating their sustainability efforts. And as our depth of knowledge and understanding about sustainability enhances our understanding of what is and is not greenwashing, the bar for efficacy rises and escalates scrutiny of claims. And so it’s no surprise greenhushing is becoming a thing.

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Tags: Social, Sustainability, Leadership

Anne Bahr Thompson
January 03, 2023
The other day, I surprised myself…. I was working with a client and for the very first time noticed the word resolutions broke into two parts: RE + SOLUTIONS. And….wow! That put the concept of New Year’s resolutions into a new light for me.

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Tags: Leadership

Reflecting on the movement to DO MORE GOOD
Blog post
September 01, 2022

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Tags: CSR, Leadership, Sustainability

Time to get purposeful about purpose: 10 guidelines to connect employees to purpose
Medium & Website blog
February 23, 2022

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Tags: Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership

2022: Time for EmpIoyers to Get Purposeful about Purpose
January 06, 2022

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Tags: Change Management, Culture, HR

Employees First: The Great Resignation is not new/s
October 26, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Future of Work, Change Management

Five guidelines for transforming culture & rewriting your employer narrative
July 27, 2021

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Tags: Change Management, Culture, Future of Work

5 lessons from the pandemic: Agility, clarity, and sincerity define game play today
Business Fights Poverty
July 07, 2020

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Tags: CSR, Leadership, Sustainability

The Intangible Things Employees Want from Employers
Harvard Business Review
December 03, 2015

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Tags: Change Management, Culture, Leadership

1 Book
Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit
November 17, 2017
What business and thought leaders are saying about Do Good:

“A great read for any company seeking to incorporate a social mission into their brand, without sacrificing profits. Anne Bahr Thompson’s model of Brand Citizenship offers compelling advice and creative, yet practical, ways to connect with all stakeholders.” – Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corp movement

”Do Good offers a timely blueprint for building a strong brand with social impact at the core, as customer and employee expectations for the role business plays in society continue to increase.” – Andy Polansky, Chief Executive Officer, Weber Shandwick Worldwide

“Anne’s book underscores what we experience each day as we work with the CEOs and companies in our coalition, and what the research has shown: that understanding and meeting significant stakeholder needs is critical for companies to prepare for 2020. Do Good is required reading for leaders who want to meet today’s business challenges head-on.” – Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP: The CEO Force for Good

“Anne Bahr Thompson’s five-step Brand Citizenship model offers a new lens on the challenge of stewarding brands in an era of change and increasing complexity for brand owners.” – David Bickerton, Director of Communications, BP plc

“With her remarkable background and decades of experience, Anne Bahr Thompson has succeeded in joining profitability with purpose (a long-sought synchronization seldom achieved today) and crafted an exceptional framework for businesses to attain Brand Citizenship—which virtually guarantees a business success. A compelling read for everyone in business, I heartily endorse Do Good.” – Archie Carroll, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia; senior coauthor of Business and Society: Ethics, Sustainability, and Stakeholder Management, 10th Edition

“Do Good is engaging, insightful, convincing, and useful. In a world where consumers, employees, and shareholders demand more from the brands they engage with, this book—and the unique Brand Citizenship model Thompson proposes within it—is essential reading for any business leader looking to unlock value and help their organization earn an extraordinary and irreplaceable role in people’s lives.” – Kevin Jasmin, Director of Corporate Brand Strategy, TD Ameritrade


Good works are no longer optional. Customers expect brands to truly care about them, their values, and the world at large. People want to see companies engage in fair employment practices, social responsibility, and charitable giving. In addition, they want companies to advocate on their behalf and make them feel that they are part of a larger community or grander mission. They demand more than half-hearted pledges or they’ll quickly call out negligence on social media, because doing good is not just an easy, one-time attention-getting effort. It’s an ethos that permeates every aspect of an enterprise, from how it delivers products and services to the way it treats employees, the community, and the environment. So, how exactly can companies foster this ethos?

As a Fortune 500 global brand strategist and researcher for more than 20 years, Anne Bahr Thompson has studied what consumers expect from brands and how the most successful companies respond. In her new book, DO GOOD: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit (AMACOM), she explains how to embed social consciousness into a company’s DNA. Based on extensive research with thousands of consumers, Thompson confirms a new business mandate: Brand Citizenship. She offers a five-step model “that integrates doing good activities…with brand development to strengthen a brand’s reputation, foster greater loyalty, and enhance value creation. It’s a win-win-win solution that mutually benefits consumers, companies, and society.” The five steps of Brand Citizenship logically flow from one another:

Trust: Don’t Let Me Down. Brands that deliver on their promises are trusted more. Digital communications and information channels have made reciprocity one of five key requirements for trusted brands.
Enrichment: Enhance Daily Life. People identify more with—and are less price sensitive toward—brands that help them to simplify their routines, make mundane tasks less dull, and enrich their daily lives.
Responsibility: Behave Fairly. In a post-recession, flattened, and transparent world, customers expect brands to treat their employees fairly, behave ethically, and be proactive in their business practices.
Community: Connect Me. Brands that rally communities, motivate behavioral changes and fix social problems – provided they are not overtly political – attract more loyalists.
Contribution: Make Me Bigger Than I Am. Brands that play an active role in creating a more positive and life-enhancing future enrich loyalists’ lives by improving life on the planet.

DO GOOD helps leaders understand where their organizations are starting on the ME2WE continuum of Brand Citizenship and how to develop metrics to measure the perceptual, social, and financial impact of initiatives and programs. The book presents a wealth of business and brand case studies—ranging from legacy businesses to social enterprises, including Apple, Google, AMAZON, Walmart, and Vaseline to H&M, SunTrust Bank, Chipotle, Trader Joe’s, IKEA, and Burt’s Bees, as well lesser known companies such as Plum Organics, Lush, and Seventh Generation. With DO GOOD, business leaders will get an edge on implementing Brand Citizenship: a win-win-win solution for customers, society, and the bottom-line.

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Tags: Business Strategy, CSR, Customer Loyalty

1 Book Chapter
Brand Positioning and Brand Creation
Economist Books
November 27, 2003

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Tags: Business Strategy, Leadership, Marketing

2 Keynotes
BRAND CITIZENSHIP: a mechanism for positive change in an ever-evolving, shape-shifting world
June 16, 2020

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Tags: Business Strategy, CSR, Leadership

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through Belonging and Community
November 17, 2017

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Tags: Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership

5 Media Interviews
How to be a brand that leads with purpose (even when the world feels volatile) with Anne Bahr Thompson
Storyhouse Fifteen
July 26, 2023
Global brand strategist, accomplished researcher and executive board director, Anne is an early champion of the purpose space. For more than 25 years, she’s been observing how social movements and cultural shifts impact people’s relationships with each other, society and brands to connect organizations with people’s values and a social consciousness.

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Tags: Leadership, Customer Loyalty, CSR

Brand Action Roundtable Discussion
Sid Lee Mind Sparks
October 29, 2020

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Marketing

Interview with Christine Sech at Brandemonium
brandchannel studio
October 02, 2018

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Tags: CSR, Leadership, Marketing

AMA (American Managemetn Association) Talks: Do Good
May 22, 2018

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Tags: Business Strategy, CSR, Sustainability

5 Trends Brands Should Embrace with Lauren Simonetti of Fox Business
Fox Business
December 13, 2013

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Tags: Business Strategy, Leadership, Marketing

5 Podcasts
Investor Perspective: Defining a Sustainable Company
Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise
April 25, 2022

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Startups, Sustainability

The Rise of Purpose 2.0
ANA (Association of National Advertisers)
November 09, 2021

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Tags: Leadership, Marketing, Sustainability

Living your purpose narrative through the how
Narrativ Story Talks
October 31, 2021

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Tags: Change Management, Culture, Leadership

ANA Center for Brand Purpose - Anne Bahr Thompson (Episode 1)
ANA (Association of National Advertisers)
December 14, 2018

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Tags: CSR, Leadership, Marketing

Marketing Matters interview with Barbara Kahn and Americus Reed
Wharton Business Radio
January 10, 2018

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Tags: Business Strategy, CSR, Marketing

1 Webinar
Doing Good: Leadership Obligation or Opportunity
June 08, 2022

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Tags: CSR, Sustainability

Thinkers360 Credentials

4 Badges



2 Article/Blogs
The Importance of Connection: Lessons for Brands from an Unplugged Journey
August 23, 2023

"What do you do when you're on a train for a day of meetings in the big city and discover you don’t have your phone...?"

That's the question that I was forced to consider the other day on my journey from Connecticut’s Eastern Shoreline to New York City. And doing so shined a light on our evolving relationship with technology and the power of human kindness  - as well as reinforced the imperative for brands to take purpose-driven action.

An Unplugged Odyssey

The ground slipped from under me as the Metro-North train doors closed, and I realized I didn’t have my phone. No WiFi on the train to fire off messages to colleagues about the day's meetings. No app or ApplePay to pay for my train ride or the subway once I was in the city. No Uber to go from one place to another if I was running late. And no pay phones to use even if I could find some loose change in my bag. A momentary feeling of panic because I hadn’t planned on managing my day unplugged…

Followed by the recognition that I had little choice to do anything other than to surrender to my circumstances. And as I did so, I opened myself to recognize (in a safe and secure way) how our world is no longer set up for those who don’t have a ubiquitous smartphone and to firsthand experience lessons in contrast—between the kindness of strangers and the rigidity of rules and between human empathy and indifference.

A fellow traveler's generosity lending me his phone underpinned our shared humanity, regardless of the differences in our outward appearances and demographics. This stranger’s simple act of kindness spoke volumes about the potential for human connection, even in a world dominated by screens, polarized by ideology and struggling with indifference.

Unfortunately, not everyone mirrored this man’s compassion. A debate with a steadfast train conductor underscored how easily routines and regulations can overshadow real human limitations. And, well, one woman’s actions just are not appropriate to share here.

The Tech-Centric Paradox

Although I often reference our dependence on technology, the absence of my smartphone truly spotlighted the extent to which technology shapes our daily routines – and the things that are no longer possible to do without it. Tasks that have become almost second nature, such as paying for transportation and coordinating meeting points, suddenly were daunting without my phone in hand. It was a striking reminder of the digital divide, a gap that often goes unnoticed as we revel in technological progress.

As I sat on the train without a screen, I found myself pondering how brands play a role as architects of societal norms. What if brands embraced transformation and, also, committed to making their resultant innovations accessible to all? What if they strive to bridge the gap between the tech-savvy and the digitally marginalized? It’s no surprise that this is where brand purpose enters the stage.

Embracing Kindness and Purpose

Even more so than emphasizing the technological intricacies of our daily life, unintentionally not having my phone reinforced the significance of kindness, gratitude and making a positive impact. With monitors clamoring for our attention 24/7, genuine human connection may catch us off-guard – and feel like a rarity. And yet, as I experienced the generosity of a stranger, I truly sensed the immeasurable value such connections hold.

So, how can brands leverage their influence to foster empathy, inclusivity and purpose? How can they contribute to a world where technological advancements don't inadvertently widen the gaps between us through cultivating authentic human connection?

A Call to Action for Brands

In a landscape dominated by screens, being disconnected mirrored the broader challenges and opportunities we face – as individuals and as brand leaders. I continue to believe that we all have a responsibility to drive positive change, especially those who command influence. Brands can be agents of transformation, catalysts for bridging disparities and hallmarks for empathy – because they have the power to sway how we think and how we behave.

By prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility, brands can reshape our cultural narrative. They can use their power to ensure that no one is left behind. It's a path that aligns with the ethos of social responsibility and good citizenship and one that empowers brands to be forces for good.

While technology connects us virtually, it's our actions, our empathy and our relationships that truly interconnect us. And I’m encouraged by the possibilities that lie ahead. Brands, with their immense reach and influence, can place themselves at the forefront of change…. So let's use this opportunity to champion kindness, embrace the broader intention of purpose and pave a way for a future where technology and humanity harmoniously coexist.

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Tags: CSR, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership

Brand Leaders: Choose transparency over greenhushing
January 13, 2023

Is greenhushing – or brands intentionally taking steps to stay quiet about their climate strategies, programs and initiatives – gaining traction as business leaders’ concerns about greenwashing heighten?

As people progressively call on the business sector to take greater action on climate change and social issues, brands increasingly are marketing and communicating their sustainability efforts. And as our depth of knowledge and understanding about sustainability enhances our understanding of what is and is not greenwashing, the bar for efficacy rises and escalates scrutiny of claims. And so it’s no surprise greenhushing is becoming a thing.

A challenge to remain relevant

Many brand leaders, entrepreneurs, and marketers I speak with admittedly feel wobbly as they’re finding their pathway and adjusting their orientation to demands for greater action. They’re concerned about how to stay relevant with the rules of the game changing before they can master them. They consider new ways to stay in the vanguard, maintain the loyalty and passion of their current fans, and simultaneously cultivate new ones. Other clients and colleagues I meet opt for a more comfortable route, centering corporate communications on sustainability goals and ambitions (perhaps taking their lead from governments) rather than on committing to tangible plans for the year, outcomes and impact. Alongside this, some brand/product managers continue to mistakenly (and even naively) consider things from vertical perspectives – in isolation – rather than take on a wider systems perspective in their sustainable product development and innovation. (Think recycled plastic and plastic waste, as a ready example.)

And others still are having an ever harder time adapting. Still hoping to return to the former status quo, they feel manic as they react to events in one-offs, rushing around chasing dozens of initiatives. Using trial and error, rather than taking a moment to pause and step back, they are managing —barely—to stand afloat in our overly turbulent world. They, too, are chasing relevance. They know things have changed, but many of their efforts to adjust to the overlapping environmental, social and political crises are yielding piecemeal results. Among many false starts, they find pockets of great success whether with new products, marketing initiatives, cool apps and videos, and the like. Yet frustratingly the “parts” are not adding up to greater than the whole as they hope.

The only way is forward

While some brand leaders may view silence about sustainability initiatives as the safe bet in terms of reputation management and risk management, it’s not necessarily good governance or even the smartest marketing and communications strategy. Coca Cola, Disney and Delta have all learned this lesson the hard way. People’s expectations of brands – and for the business sector overall – have shifted. And there’s no going back. Only forward.

Transparency cultivates trust

Transparency into how brands are responding to the challenges we face and to how organizational leaders are mitigating existential risks are important for consumers, employees and investors alike…. Whether it’s choosing a product to buy, an employer to work for or a company to invest in, knowing the actions a brand is taking guides everyone to make better decisions and increases demand for brands across sectors to responsibly consider all stakeholders – including the environment and society – on the pathway to living purpose and creating a better future for everyone. Transparency is essential to cultivating trust, and trust is essential for long-term success as traditional models for business are disrupted by necessity.

Brands catalyze attitudinal and behavioral change

As 2023 progresses, the list of environmental and social issues companies will need to address likely will grow longer – more complex and more interconnected. And as brand leaders focus on strengthening resiliency, marketing and communications professionals have an extraordinary opportunity to do good through product innovation, enhancing the customer experience and, yes, communications and campaigns that inform and educate. The possibilities to amplify impact will continue to expand as marcomms broadens its perspective and considers relationships/interdependencies and feedback loops, actors and trends across the wider social and environmental systems in which they interact.

Brands have the opportunity – and responsibility – to catalyze attitudinal and behavior change. After all, brands have the power to transform organizations and social norms. Because they have the influence to change the way we think and act.

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Tags: Sustainability, Marketing


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