This article was originally published on Ogilvy.com.
Sustainable Enough is Not Good Enough. While the youth of today continue to be catalysts in the drive toward environmental action, brands have been busy getting involved in environmental and other social good issues through ongoing or sporadic corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Making Brands Matter for the Generations to Come intends to help brands understand how they can help make the world, and their business, better faster by intentionally making CSR efforts grounded in their brand’s core.
Leveraging frameworks and data from experts in the field, academia, as well as by observing over a dozen brands, this paper tells the story of the origins of CSR, the evolution of consumers in their demand for sustainable goods and services, and brands’ pitfalls and success stories in executing CSR activities.
From Conspicuous Consumption through to modern day Conscious Consumption, this paper examines how consumers have shifted over the years which has driven brands to embark on CSR in different ways. From one-off projects through to business models built on circular design, brands have been active participants in CSR but there’s still a long way to go.
The paper closes with key actions brands can take to expediently make CSR a genuine and authentic component of their brand’s core going forward.
Key takeaways from the paper:
- Brands are dabbling in CSR across a spectrum – from one-off initiatives, to those who have managed to become fully purpose driven ecosystems
- There’s a price tag that often comes with sustainability – the future state of conscious consumption is when sustainable products are affordable and attainable across spending power
- A brand’s core embodies a brand’s purpose, positioning, and action plans – any and all CSR initiatives need to stem from this core and be felt internally as well as externally
- There’s an abundance of sustainable activity happening in the world today – brands that matter will take a hard look in mirror and spend the time to intentionally align their CSR activities to their brand’s core
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