great brands never have to ‘give back’

The brand-building principles, Great Brands Never Have to ‘Give Back,’ may be the most surprising one of the seven in my new book, What Great Brands Do;  The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest.  So, please allow me to explain.

There’s nothing wrong with giving back.  In fact, it’s good to give back.  But the great brands I’ve researched seem to be asking themselves, “Why merely ‘do good’ when we can be great?!”  And they’ve been advancing a new movement in what is traditionally known as corporate social responsibility (CSR).  Great brands are making positive social change without engaging in typical CSR activities. They’re redefining CSR as CSV: creating shared value, and using the power of their brands to inspire change and produce an overall beneficial impact on society.

You can read more about this in my latest Harvard Business Review post here. There are also lots of great comments on the post, so check those out too and leave your own thoughts there or here.

never have to give back

Since this post is about creating shared value, it seems an appropriate time to acknowledge the members of the Great Brand Society who have helped make the launch of my book such a tremendous success.  Last December I invited select friends and colleagues to join the Great Brand Society — their membership would give them access to an advance copy of the book in exchange for their honest assessment of it.  I was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response and even more blown away by the positive feedback, terrific reviews on Amazon, blog posts & write-ups, social media sharing, and more.

So, here’s a big juicy thank you to the Great Brand Society:

Each of you has done a beautiful thing!  You’re terrific!

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