Pat Barton shared about his science with Wanderers last night, camcorder on, lapel mic on. He works in linear equations describing covariances discovered in focus group data, tying customer attitudes to brand loyalty. This is an expensive high end service for Fortune 100 corporate clients.
An example would be Whirlpool: the company was already heavily involved in Habitat for Humanity, because of its specific history, but the public didn't know that. In the mean time, Pat's company's analysis showed that power nesters, mostly boomer women with bucks and a desire to have the best appliances in all dimensions, cared deeply about corporate social responsibility, and if it turned out Whirlpool actually cared, then more people would replace older Whirlpools with newer Whirlpools. So obviously the answer was to publicize this pre-existing commitment and track record. Everybody wins.