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BRANDING: Credit crunch pressurises brand responsibility

Consider the following three-step checklist to help develop a solid CSR strategy

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has had a huge impact on the way business brands behave, not least because of growing pressure from customers. The world's biggest brands are challenged on a daily basis and it is no longer good enough for them to limit virtuous credentials to their own practices - they must also demonstrate their partners, suppliers and associates are whiter than white. For example, in April, HP released a list of top suppliers in a bid to promote transparency and raise standards across the board in terms of social and working practices. This is already having a profound effect on B2B players. For many years, we have lived in a 'me' world. Now, we live in a 'we' world. What are 'we' going to do about global warming? How are 'we' going to reduce our carbon footprint? And business brands, although not as visible to a consumer audience, must adopt this way of thinking or risk being left behind both by clients and prospects.