Use Products and Services to Magnify a Brand's CSR Vision

Blog Post02 Feb, 2022

The Big Idea

Inclusive imagery and product perceptions centered around values drives brand evolution. Multinational conglomerate Mars reimagined its iconic M&M'S characters to illustrate the importance of "self-expression and power of community." The reaction has been favorable, creating a new influx of demand on the modernized characters' launch date. Creating a 'new look' is just one approach companies use to foster inclusivity via their brands. Companies must balance fostering community while staying true to their products. 

RepTrak Perspective

Broadly, the highest performing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Factor in the United States is "Improves people's lives through its products and services,” with a ‘strong’ score of 71.0 in Q4 2021. As the public becomes increasingly receptive to products that embody their values, businesses' reputation priorities must include adapting similar CSR visions into their products to maintain support. 

Reputation Context

Why is this important?

More than ever, individuals strive to see brands that reflect their values and create a sense of community, specifically among younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials). Yet only 36% of values-based communities are connected to brands. Businesses proactively formulating their products and services to create inclusion see reputation rewards:

• June - August 2021 RepTrak Data found that the Media companies Netflix, Hulu, and Google were in the top 10 LGBTQ+ friendly US companies. Strategically, these companies are the top three industry performers across "Recommend products" and "Say positive" (between 53% - 57% of advocates in Q4 2021).

• Netflix, Hulu, and Google also hold ‘strong’ (70+) Reputation Scores in Q4 2021. 

What are some companies doing to demonstrate positive social impact?

In March 2021, Chobani released an animated campaign to introduce Chobani's range of dairy and non-dairy products, which continued to promote diversity among its characters and sustainable farming.  • From Q2 2021 – Q4 2021, Chobani's Products Driver Score increased 2.1-points to 79.6, and its Reputation Score increased 1.5-points to 74.9, improving close to ‘excellent.’

Capital One expanded its summer program to accommodate low-to-moderate income students in tech and equipped 2,500 families with digital connectivity.  • Capital One saw a 2.5-point increase in its Products Driver Score from Q2 2021 – Q4 2021 and increased its Reputation Score to a strong 71.8 in Q4 2021.

Proctor & Gamble works to accelerate inclusion and diverse representation in advertising. In March 2021, P&G launched "Widen the Screen" to advocate for the inclusion of Black creators across all media platforms.  • In Q4 2021, Proctor & Gamble held a strong 74.3 for "Improves people’s lives through its products and services" (a CSR Factor), in addition to the 76.4 Products Driver Score and 71.5 Reputation Score.

Convo Starters

1. How is your fundamental business strategy making a positive impact on society across environmental or social initiatives? 2. Are your products and services magnifying CSR goals? If not, how can your company evolve its brand to positively move the needle on CSR perceptions and reputation? 

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