To expand on the excellent piece The Good Business of Good Citizenship, it is worth looking at some additional data. As Daniel Yankelovich and Isabella Furth observed in 2005, corporations and government have been subject to waves of mistrust reaching as far back as the 1930′s Depression. Not surprisingly, we are in the midst of another wave, and consumer trust has eroded severely since last year. Every major industry in the U.S. is affected, with banks and automotive leading.
Why does trust matter so much?
Simply, because consumers take action based on their belief in or distrust of a company. This behavior, in turn, has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Good citizenship has just become a tad more complex. In addition to the imperatives of being connected; engaged and responsible; local; and in dialogue, consumers now have added two more:
Be impactful — consumers expect companies to support issues where their business can have the most social/environmental impact
Be generous — consumers say companies should give more (not less) in these trying times
Too hard to do it all and do it right? Not for Kohler. The company checked off each and every one of the six imperatives and set a new standard. See for yourself and Save Water America!
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