The Power of Companies to Influence Social Norms

Aug 25, 2017 8:10 AM ET

Companies are uniquely positioned to drive change around social norms by using their brand credibility, marketing expertise, reach, and access to key influencers, among other assets. Companies can create significant, lasting social change by shifting harmful social norms. But why should companies invest in changing social norms, and what are the practical steps to starting this process?

What are social norms?

Social norms: the rules of behavior that are considered acceptable in a group or society. This includes what is expected of you and what you think is expected of you by your community or a particular group.

At the 2017 Shared Value Leadership Summit, we had the opportunity to learn from leaders at Novo Nordisk, ABInBev, and ActionSprout about why these organizations are focused on social norms, and gain insight into practical tools for understanding and shifting norms to drive better business and social outcomes.

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