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Anne Bahr Thompson

Strategist | Advisor | Speaker | Author at Anne Bahr Thompson

New York, United States

Creator of the Me-to-We Continuum of Brand Citizenship working at the intersection of purpose, brand development and sustainability.

Aligning organizational behaviors and actions with purpose and values was a primary reason she pivoted into brand consulting after previously working in B2B banking. Today, she advises leaders and brands on how to use purpose as a transformational tool and supports them in effectively integrating sustainability, citizenship and ESG into brand strategy, communications, culture — and day-to-day activities.

Anne's role as a strategist has always included coaching brands and leaders to have the courage and confidence to be their best, true selves. To have a broader societal vision and positive impact. Bringing the wisdom, insight and breadth of knowledge gained through diverse work — and life — experiences, she invites others to gain new perspectives and supports them in authentically bringing these new possibilities to life.

As author of the book Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit, Anne entered the purpose space early on, pioneering the Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship®. Prior to being recognized by Thinkers 360, she was named a Superbrands Branding Leader, a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader and a GCPIT Global Women’s Leader for her contributions and thought leadership.

Concurrent to working with clients, speaking and volunteering, Anne is also an Ambassador for Meaningful Business, a global community of leaders combining profit and purpose to help achieve the UN Global Goals; an advisor to Overflow pbc, an open talent platform for Independent Strategy Consultants; collaborating with Berlin-base e-Mission to deliver interactive and engaging ESG SaaS training; on the executive board of the Asherah Foundation, which offers second chance scholarships for women; participates on the Council of Aspiration and Inspiration for the Spirit of Humanity Forum; and is an active advocate for women’s issues, equality and fairness.

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. Because of her strong focus on value creation in business, it surprises people to learn she's a Reiki Master who has dabbled in healing modalities and aroma therapy for more than 25 years. (Learn more about the value Anne brings, her experience and background, including her client relationships, here:

Available For: Advising, Authoring, Consulting, Influencing, Speaking
Travels From: New York, NY USA
Speaking Topics: (All speaking engagements are customized for the audience) Employee Well-Being from Collective Meaning; Living Purpose: From why to how; Doing Good: L

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

Anne Bahr Thompson Points
Academic 0
Author 99
Influencer 78
Speaker 23
Entrepreneur 0
Total 200

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

Areas of Expertise

Business Strategy 33.55
Change Management 30.27
CSR 50.39
Culture 30.84
Customer Experience
Diversity and Inclusion 31.78
Leadership 31.50
Marketing 31.46
Risk Management 30.24
Sustainability 33.26

Industry Experience

Consumer Products
Financial Services & Banking
Professional Services
Travel & Transportation


13 Article/Blogs
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

4 Media Interviews
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



1 Article/Blog
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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