Is Corporate Social Responsibility Dead?

Photo by iDanSimpson on flickr.com, (cc) some rights reserved.The folks at Landor are really smart branding professionals. And world-class communicators. But I had to scratch my head today when I read the headline on the firm’s latest press release:

Survey Finds No Correlation Between a Company’s Corporate Responsibility Record and Consumers’ Views of that Company as Socially Responsible

To me, that made it sound like people no longer care. But the survey instead reports that consumers simply aren’t aware of the sterling social and environmental track records that many businesses have.

That’s a missed opportunity, according to Landor, because consumers also report that they are willing to pay more for products made by companies with socially responsible reputations.

Let’s assume for a moment—and it’s a big assumption—that consumers actually do what they say. So how can leading companies promote their social responsibility without being accused of greenwashing or worse?

I guess that’s why we need firms like Landor. (Oh, now I get it.)