Weekend Reading: “Do Good” By Anne Bahr Thompson

For the 162nd episode of The Marketing Book Podcast, I interviewed Anne Bahr Thompson, author of Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit.

For many businesses, success comes in unexpected ways. Toms grew into a $600 million company by giving away 35 million pair of shoes. Patagonia’s profits have climbed year after year even as it funnels heavy investments into sustainability.

And it’s not just millennials rewarding companies with causes. In every age group, people commit to brands that show good citizenship. From CVS’s destocking cigarettes to Chipotle’s ethical sourcing, people want to see fair employment practices, social responsibility, and charitable giving–and they quickly call out negligence.

Buyers today demand more than half-hearted pledges. By actively linking great brands with higher purposes, companies capture both markets and hearts. Based on extensive research with thousands of consumers, Do Good documents this sea change and explains how to embed social consciousness into a company’s DNA.

From the book:

Over more than twenty years as a Fortune 500 global brand strategist and researcher, I have observed people continuously expecting more from brands. Three years of investigation dedicated to deconstructing the shifting elements of brand leadership, corporate citizenship, and favorite brands through my company’s CultureQ research project confirmed that customers unequivocally are demanding more value, more service, better ethics, and a greater focus on sustainability and social good.

What people told me in qualitative conversations and quantitative surveys was clear: they want the companies they do business with to not only “do good” and make the world a better place but also to advocate on their behalf and make them feel as though they are part of a larger community or grander mission. Customers are calling for, yearning for–and paying for–a new business ethos that I call Brand Citizenship.

A bit more about the book…

Douglas Burdett

Douglas Burdett is the Principal of Artillery, a B2B marketing agency and is host of The Marketing Book Podcast. He is a former artillery officer, Madison Avenue ad man and stand-up comedian.

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