The Lab finds NRMA is Australia’s most socially responsible brand

The Lab has released its Forces of Good report, run through its recently established artificial intelligence and machine learning division, Lab AI.

The report names Australia’s best and worst brands for corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The report conducted a text-only analysis of 190 brands on owned and earned channels, which included websites, articles, socials and forums. Comments from the general public were included as well.

In total, more than 6.8 million online mentions were examined, with 198,382 mentions relevant to CSR.

Each brand was assessed against six “Dimensions of Good”: Supply Chain, Sustainability, Product, Ethics, People and Community, and Privacy, Data and Tech. Each dimension was treated equally for the purposes of the final score.

To get the final score, each brand was then rated across four weighted elements and rated out of 100. The elements were: sentiment (40%), proportion (30%), engagement (20%), and volume (10%).

Using this model, the top ten performing brands in Australia were:

Some of the category leaders were Are Media in Media and Telecommunications, Toyota in Automotive, CUB in Drink, AFL in Sport, and Tourism & Events Queensland in Travel.

NRMA’s handling of COVID-19, the 2019-2020 bushfire season, and flooding assisted in its final top ranking.

Of the top ten, two are global brands: British oil and gas company BP and British paint company Dulux. The rest of the brands are Australian-owned.

Paul Labagnara, The Lab co-founder, said: “Being a force for good is what Australian consumers are craving right now. They want to know which brands care beyond just ‘business as usual’. Our Australia Project 2021 research shows 83% of Australians believe brands need to stand by their values and principles.

“CEOs and marketers should take notice of what the top ten brands are doing and saying, as they all follow explicit ideals such as know your purpose, follow up talk with actions, be inspiring and not lecturing, and mean something to your consumers.”

Labagnara added: “Eight of the top 10 brands in the index are Australian owned; by contrast, six of the bottom ten are global brands. Brands and marketers should note that there is strength in localised content and activity, especially when paired with a greater level of commitment and ability to influence on the ground.”

The algorithm was trained to pick up sentiment across the text, not just focus on keywords. In other words, it looked at where words appeared alongside other words to understand what tone was inferred.

The AI was then trained to recognise patterns in language synonymous with CSR content.

The data was harvested in March 2021 and covers the full year of 2020. Only publicly available data sources were used.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.