October 25, 2022

Brand Social Value and Purpose Become Greater Drivers of Consumer Purchase Decisions and Loyalty than Traditional Product Attributes and Offerings, According to New NYU SPS 2022 Corporate Social Value Index

NYU SPS Study Shows Toyota, LG, GE, and The Home Depot Have the Hearts of the American Consumers When It Comes to Social Values

New York, NY, October 25, 2022 – Today, US consumers have a stronger relationship and affinity to brands with social values and purpose that are perceived as matching their own rather than interacting with brands based on product attributes and offerings alone, according to the new 2022 Corporate Social Value Index (CSV Index) from the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS).

For the inaugural study, the NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business (DPB) Integrated Marketing & Communications (IMC) team interviewed 2,500 consumers from the US on their opinions of more than 75 different global brands, including Amazon, American Express, Coca-Cola, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Netflix, Nike, Starbucks, and Visa. Major brands coming out on top in terms of a total match between the brand and consumer social values and product benefits are Toyota, LG, GE, and The Home Depot.

The study shows that no matter how much major brands might like to stay out of the US culture and political wars, they cannot avoid taking a long, hard look at the social values their brands stand for and the impact the position they take will have on consumers purchasing decisions. For example, the NYU results show that the strongest positive effect on brand preference is the match between a consumer’s and a brand’s political ideology.

Traditionally, brands have earned customer loyalty largely through delivering quality products and offerings. “In today’s market, companies are looking to take a more purpose-driven approach to their businesses, as evidenced by the recent decision of Patagonia’s founder to donate his entire company to fight climate change,” said Michael Diamond, clinical assistant professor in the NYU SPS IMC program, and co-author of the study with Milos Bujisic, clinical associate professor. “A brand’s social value and purpose are now more important than ever in activating a consumer’s sense of value and meaning.  Identifying which of the brand’s values resonate and how they line up with a consumer’s values has become more critical to the work of growing brands with greater consumer loyalty, stronger brand trust, and higher financial returns.”

According to Bujisic, “With the creation of our Corporate Social Value Index, we can help brands find out what their customers care about, help predict the strength of their consumer relationships, and measure loyalty to the brand, among other aspects of customer engagement. This type of information can help senior executives and marketing professionals dramatically transform a business’s mission in support of building an organization designed and focused on social good.”

“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,” said Jim Stengel, former chief marketing officer at Procter & Gamble and host of The CMO Podcast and. “This work from NYU adds to our understanding of what issues matter to customers.”

“At a time when a brand’s purpose and a company’s broader role in society is in flux, chief marketing officers need more clarity on whether and how to take a stance on a spectrum of political positions that may impact the brand. The 2022 Corporate Social Value Index sheds light on the brands that consumers value from a purpose-driven perspective,” said Antonio Lucio, a senior marketing executive who has led marketing and communications for numerous global brands, including Meta, HP, Visa, and Pepsico, during his career.

The NYU SPS CSV Index uses the new NYU SPS-developed Brand Social Value (BSV) Model to help marketers investigate and measure the key drivers of customers’ relationships and loyalty. Specifically, to determine the relative importance of social value alignment versus product benefit match concerning customer trust and loyalty for leading global brands. The BSV Model is based on algorithms that maximize the predictive ability of individual indices - the BSV, Brand Product Benefits (BPB), and Total Match Indices - to track and forecast Brand Relationships, Brand Reputation, Loyalty, and Purchase Intention.

The research and development of the Brand Social Value Model and Indices was recognized as the best paper for the Branding and Brand Management track at the recent 2022 American Marketing Association (AMA) Summer Academic Conference.

“In Spring 2023, NYU School of Professional Studies will welcome the first cohort into its Executive Master’s in Marketing and Communications designed to address the needs of professionals in marketing and PR on the path to C-Suite leadership,” said Diamond. “This master’s program will help educate them in using innovative and proven tools and research, such as this CSV Index, to help better position their companies and organizations in the marketplace.”

For the full study report, visit the NYU SPS CSV Index web page.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies

For more than 87 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 22 graduate degrees, 14 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and degree completion students, four associate degrees, and a plethora of continuing education courses and credentials.

NYU SPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; financial planning; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; executive marketing and strategic communications, integrated marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYU SPS faculty members are leading experts in their discipline areas, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, including the Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Conference, REIT Symposium, and National Symposium of Women in Real Estate; and the Jonathan M. Tisch Center’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders is a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYU SPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they have the opportunity to learn from and network with more than 39,000 NYU SPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in the industry around the world. To learn more about NYU SPS, visit sps.nyu.edu.

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