How To Embrace Brand Citizenship


You likely have noticed the sea change in the market’s demand for brands to reinvent how they engage with customers. It’s the mandate to embrace Brand Citizenship. Which means “doing good.” Doing good for customers, employees, local communities, and the planet overall. 

“People want the companies they do business with not only to ‘do good’ and make the world a better place, but also to advocate on their behalf and make them feel like they are part of a larger community or grander mission,” explains Anne Bahr Thompson, author of the new book, Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profits. 

Furthermore, Thompson explains that “doing good has come to mean taking responsibility for more than traditional philanthropy or corporate social responsibility initiatives.” 

First in the book, Thompson sets the stage for what caused this growing trend where people are drawn to companies with a higher purpose – and consequently reward them with their loyalty and business. 

Then, through insightful examples, she teaches you how to achieve Brand Citizenship principles through five steps:
  1. Trust
  2. Enrichment
  3. Responsibility
  4. Community
  5. Contribution
“The five-step model of Brand Citizenship enables a brand to move from satisfying people’s individual needs to addressing their desires to belong to communities that reflect their values and concerns to their interest in contributing something meaningful to the wider world,” says Thompson. 

Embracing Brand Citizenship does not mean abandoning profit, however. Thompson teaches you how to strike the balance needed to achieve both. 

Exceedingly useful in the book is the illustrative Brand Citizenship position worksheet where you can score and diagnose where you are on the Brand Citizenship continuum, and then set goals and initiatives to reach your optimum positioning on the scale. 

“Brand Citizenship is a journey, not an endgame,” says Thompson. “It requires courage to step forward and an understanding that experimentation and trial and error are parts of the process.”

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