Corporate Social Responsibility Comes In Threes

A lot of things in life are better in threes; Stooges, for instance. Or, coins in a fountain. Or, little pigs. Or, Bee Gees. Or, Great Pyramids at Giza. Or laws of motion.

Likewise, it’s becoming increasingly clear that when it comes to corporate social responsibility the great brands do three things lesser brands don’t: they treat their employees well/act ethically; they have a strong commitment to greening the world; and, they engage in corporate philanthropy and cause marketing.

Time was when companies that face the consumer could pick one of the three and have a perfectly defensible position. But since 2008, give or take, consumer expectations of what constitutes meaningful corporate social responsibility have changed. By which I mean, they’ve gotten a good deal stiffer.

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