Is CSR Dead? Onesixtyfourth’s New CultureQ Research Demonstrates that ‘Brand Citizenship’ Is a Much More Powerful Force for Consumers

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Despite heavy investment in corporate social responsibility, ‘feel good’ initiatives don’t necessarily move perceptions of brands.

Companies should connect people to something bigger than themselves. That’s what we call Brand Citizenship.

Despite heavy investment in CSR (corporate social responsibility) over the last decade, these initiatives aren’t impacting people’s overall perceptions of brands, according to the latest CultureQ research from brand strategy consultancy Onesixtyfourth.

Anne Bahr Thompson, Founder of Onesixtyfourth and its proprietary CultureQ research, said, “People are telling us that corporate responsibility begins with helping ‘me,’ the individual consumer, before it expands outward into CSR-like initiatives. For it to be meaningful, corporate citizenship should first integrate the values that are important to people in their daily lives. After that is done, a corporation should connect people to something bigger than themselves – their communities, their country, people across the world, and the planet. That’s what we call Brand Citizenship.”

Citing the findings from CultureQ’s Brands: The New Social Reformers report and research recently completed and soon to be published, Ms. Bahr Thompson noted that people in the U.S. are much more focused on corporate behaviors like treating employees fairly, being honest about product claims, offering reliable service and durable products, saving resources, and making affordable products than they are on big-budget CSR initiatives. Some CultureQ participants, especially Millennials, even believe corporations view CSR as a zero-sum game, a way to right other wrongs rather than a way to contribute.

Ms. Bahr Thompson added, “Our findings don’t mean that people are selfish, however. While Brand Citizenship begins with making the consumer’s life easier and helping them to manage their day to day life more effectively, it then spans out to be about personal enrichment and fulfillment through a positive contribution to society and humanity.”

CultureQ reports are available individually or as a subscription service with opportunities for customization. For more information about CultureQ, visit

About Onesixtyfourth
Onesixtyfourth is a trend-based, brand and communications strategy boutique that connects brand values with people’s values. Onesixtyfourth specializes in insight, foresight, strategy, and innovation and focuses on making it easier for brands to reach, communicate, and interact with customers.

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Media Contact
Rosalia Scampoli
Marketcom PR
212-537-5177, Ext 7

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