Consumer Brands and Social Squared: How Much of the Right Thing is Too Much of the Right Thing?

At The Guardian Changing Advertising Summit 2010, Unilever’s chief marketing and communication officer Keith Weed (video) argued that his own role is an example of how brand/ marketing and sustainability/ communication need to come together for corporations as the social web makes the world more transparent.

Keith Weed then talks about Unilever’s “Consumer Manifesto”, which includes “the 10 key points every Unilever marketer lives and dies by when understanding, engaging and communicating with a more savvy, more demanding and better connected consumer in 2010.”

It’s interesting that even as some of the biggest consumer brands in the world believe they are setting agendas and demonstrating thought leadership on key social issues such as the environment, diet and lifestyle, they aren’t really being seen as thought leaders by the people who care most about these topics (TLG via HBR).

It seems to me that brands don’t only need to reappraise their communication (saying more of the right things), but also their credentials (doing more of the right things).

Of course, how much of the right thing is too much of the right thing is a difficult question to answer. It seems that the world’s biggest brands are finally ready to ask the question, if not answer it.

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