Understanding a brand’s purpose and where the company stands on a range of issues is a central driver for how marketing leaders and business executives should be managing and growing their brands. This work from NYU adds to our understanding of what issues matter to customers.

Jim Stengel

Host of The CMO Podcast and former chief marketing officer at Procter & Gamble.

The recent growing interest in the role brands and corporations play in shaping or responding to the political, social, and cultural developments of their time has made the exploration of the key drivers of customers’ brand relationships and loyalty more urgent and important. BSV research by NYU’s School of Professional Studies faculty demonstrates that consumers’ responses to a brand are more closely aligned with their perceptions of the brand’s social values than may have been traditionally taught and practiced and that this ‘match’ on social values is a more powerful driver than traditional product benefits.

At a time when corporations are re-inventing themselves as B-Corps or “going purpose” versus “going public,” industry bodies are re-examining the fundamental definition of value and wealth creation, and civil society seems unable to cope alone with the emerging crises of our time, this study provides a methodologically robust foundation for the re-evaluation of a brand’s relationship with its consumers in the areas of social value.


Drawing on a nationally representative sample of 2,500 US consumers, BSV study provides insights across 75 brands spanning 12 individual product and service categories. The data collected and analysis derived provides new perspectives on how the strength of the match, or affinity, between an individual consumer’s social values and a brand’s social values, varies according to age, gender, political ideology, and geography in the US.

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