2006 GolinHarris Corporate Citizenship Index
Americans Send the Message: “Get Down to Business on Corporate Citizenship”
Ben & Jerry’s, Target, Patagonia, SC Johnson and Gerber top the 4th GolinHarris Corporate Citizenship Index in Rating of 152 brands by 5,000 Americans
(CSRwire) CHICAGO, IL – December 6, 2006 -- GolinHarris today announced the results of its fourth national survey, Corporate Citizenship Gets Down to Business: Doing Well by Doing Good 2006: The survey finds Americans are sending a clear message to Corporate America: Do more … be authentic … and the business rewards will follow.
Conducted by Change, GolinHarris’ corporate citizenship and social responsibility practice, the study reveals respondents recognize progress is being made as a growing number of companies embrace corporate citizenship as a business asset, although business still has a long way to go to meet Americans’ rising expectations for good corporate citizenship.
Change interviewed 5,000 Americans, who rated 152 brands for the GolinHarris Corporate Citizenship Index (CCI) in September, 2006. The CCI looks at 12 critical corporate citizenship drivers, and individual brand performance ratings are integrated into a single-number index scorecard of 0 to 100. Companies scoring 65 or higher are Excellent performers, 55 – 65 are Good, 45-54 are Fair/ Average and below 45 are rated Poor performers.
The top 10 percent of brands receiving the highest Corporate Citizenship Index ratings are:
1. 68.08 Ben & Jerry’s (NYSE: UL)
2. 64.75 Target (NYSE: TGT)
3. 64.65 Patagonia
4. 64.45 SC Johnson
5. 62.54 Gerber (NYSE: NVS)
6. 62.27 Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV)
7. 62.13 Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)
8. 61.79 The Body Shop
9. 61.68 UPS (NYSE: UPS)
10. 61.63 3M (NYSE: MMM)
11. 61.60 Honda (NYSE: HMC)
12. 61.42 Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB)
13. 61.28 Quaker (NYSE: PEP)
14. 61.11 Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB)
15. 60.90 Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG)
Expectations – and Rewards – Run High for Corporate Citizenship
Americans are sending a message to business that good corporate citizenship is a “must have” critical to business success in good times and bad. The leading brands in the GolinHarris CCI raise the bar on their performance as expectations rise.
An overwhelming two-thirds of Americans interviewed said:
"’Doing well by doing good’ is a savvy business strategy. Good corporate citizenship should be approached as an investment, asset and competitive advantage for business that contributes to the company's success.” (67%)
“Business should invest significantly more money, time, attention and resources in corporate citizenship than it does today.” (68%)
“Corporate citizenship should be considered an essential, high priority compared to other priorities companies face and manage in running a profitable, competitive and successful business.” (68%)
Moreover, when Americans experience authentic corporate citizenship, they get down to business in their relationships with brands. In fact, the survey reveals that good corporate citizenship can impact business results by stimulating Americans to be loyal, passionate and frequent business advocates and committed customers to brands that have earned their trust and support. The top ways good corporate citizenship influences their behavior and attitude towards a company are:
1. Recommend the company, its products and services to family, friends, neighbors or co-workers.
2. Improve my respect for and opinion of the company and its reputation.
3. Try the company’s products and services for the first time if I’ve never been a customer. 4. Switch to the company, its products and services from a competitor, if other factors are fairly equal.
5. Increase my trust in the company and its people, products and services.
6. Welcome the company into my community if it wants to locate, expand or do business here.
7. Become more loyal and committed to the company, its products and services.
8. Increase my buying of the company’s products and services if I’m currently a customer, or come back to the company I’m formerly a customer.
9. Try new and different products from the company I hadn’t considered before.
10. Admire the company as a leader, influencer or role-model within its industry and as a business.
Effective Communications are Key
Importantly, the survey shows that effective, well-rounded communications is an essential ingredient of effective corporate citizenship. Americans want to experience and make a contribution to corporate citizenship directly through their own participation, share in corporate citizenship from the people they trust and who are most personally touched by the issue, and learn about corporate citizenship from a wide variety of sources across traditional and emerging media.
According to respondents, the most trusted, informative and useful ways Americans say they learn about a company’s corporate citizenship are
1. Word of mouth from family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and others who share my interests
2. People personally affected by an issue, active in the cause, or helped by the company’s commitment
3. Newspapers and their web sites
4. The internet – My own research, search engines, portals, consumer generated media
5. Television stations, networks, programs and their web sites
6. Sponsorships, contests promotions and other company-sponsored programs in which I can become involved
7. Non-profit organizations, government agencies, research and academic institutions and their web sites
8. Where I shop – at retail, on-line, on product packaging, other point-of-purchase/point of information
9. Directly from the company – Reports, announcements, events, web site, direct mail, etc.
10. Radio stations, networks, programs and their web sites
Authenticity is Critical
The top performers on in 2006 GH Corporate Citizenship Index are as diverse as American business itself in terms of industry, business model, resources, ownership and commitments. But while different in style and substance, their corporate citizenship shares a key essential quality: authenticity,” according to Fred Cook, president and CEO, GolinHarris.
“Authenticity is what distinguishes and differentiates truly great corporate citizens,” explained Cook. “Leaders know that corporate citizenship must be an organic outgrowth of the company’s business value proposition, brand essence, and everyday practices in the marketplace. To be authentic, corporate citizenship must ring true, be relevant and resonate in all the ways a company conducts its business with stakeholders – be they customers, employees, investors, suppliers, communities or others.
“Americans can tell the real deal and authentic original from companies that go shopping for trendy and stylish issues,” Cook concluded.
Getting Down to Business in Corporate Citizenship Requires More than “Checkbook Philanthropy”
Another common characteristic of the top performing companies on the GolinHarris CCI is their balanced, holistic approach to corporate citizenship as central to and aligned with the companies’ business goals and mainstream business activities. They’ve learned that how the organization runs its business is just as important as how much money it gives away. Authentic corporate citizenship must permeate all facets of how companies do business.
Corporate Citizenship Gets Down to Business underscores the importance of this balanced, holistic approach. The brands that demonstrate the strongest corporate citizenship performed well across all 12 key corporate citizenship drivers that comprise the GolinHarris CCI.
Top corporate citizenship drivers are:
1. Values and treats employees well and fairly
2. Executives and business practices are ethical, honest, open and transparent
4. Goes beyond what is required to provide safe, healthy and reliable products and services
5. Listens to consumer, customer and community input when making business decisions
6. Active and involved in the communities where it does business
7. Committed to corporate social responsibility, sustainability, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, etc.
8. Donates or invests its fair share of profits, goods or services to benefit others
“Corporate giving has never been more generous, increasing 22 percent to $13.7 billion in cash and in-kind gifts from 2004 to 2005 (according to Giving USA). However, Americans still see corporate citizenship as headed in the wrong direction,” observed Susan Puflea, senior vice president and director of GolinHarris Change. “Why? Checkbook philanthropy isn’t enough. And, far too often companies silo crucial facets of corporate citizenship – including corporate philanthropy, charitable contributions, social responsibility and cause marketing – from the brand’s actual business activities in the misguided belief that these good works and good intentions are perceived independently or in place of stakeholders’ other experiences with the brand in the marketplace.”
“This can create two problems that often frustrate successful corporate citizenship,” Puflea continued. “First, if the company’s philanthropic programs appear inconsistent, contradictory to, or an attempt to compensate for everyday business practices and stakeholders’ experiences in the marketplace, corporate citizenship may be perceived as contrived, opportunistic and artificial instead of authentic and credibility. Trust will suffer.
“Second,” she concluded, “the real power of these commitments may not be acknowledged and appreciated by stakeholders if left to stand alone. When detached from a brand’s character, even the largest contribution or best-intentioned support may be recognized only for the size of the check or dismissed altogether.”
About Corporate Citizenship Gets Down to Business: Doing Well by Doing Good 2006
The 2006 GolinHarris Change corporate citizenship survey is based upon 5,000 online interviews with a representative national sample of Americans age 18 or older in the late summer/early fall, 2006.
Participants rated 152 brands for the GolinHarris Corporate Citizenship Index (CCI), as well as providing perspectives and opinions of more than 150 issues, causes and concerns that might be addressed by business as part of their corporate citizenship; more than 150 organizations with which business might partner in their corporate citizenship; and general corporate citizenship trends.
The survey is an annual initiative funded and executed by GolinHarris’ Change corporate citizenship practice. Targeting, recruitment and fieldwork were conducted by InsightExpress, a leading online market research firm, using its patented eRDD sampling methodology. The sample was weighted using demographic information representative of adults in the 2002 U.S. census. Results are valid at the 95 percent confidence level, with a margin of sampling error of ±2-3 percentage points for all respondents, and ±4-5 percentage points for demographic, attitudinal and behavioral subgroups.
About GolinHarris Change
Change is GolinHarris’ full-service practice that delivers comprehensive corporate citizenship and social responsibility solutions. Capabilities include strategic philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, social marketing, cause-related marketing and public education services to corporations, private foundations, not-for-profits and government agencies.