Turning Social Risk to Your Brand’s Advantage

Suggested Citation

Fournier, S., Srinivasan, S. & Marrinan, P. (2021). Turning Socio-Political Risk to Your Brand’s Advantage. NIM Marketing Intelligence Review, 13(2), 18-25.



Susan Fournier,
Shuba Srinivasan,
Patrick Marrinan
Publication title
Turning Social Risk to Your Brand’s Advantage
NIM Marketing Intelligence Review

Turning Social Risk to Your Brand’s Advantage

Keywords: Brand Risk, Socio-Political Risk, Brand Risk Assessment, Activism


Employment practices, civic responsibilities, philanthropy, environmental stewardship, the conduct of corporate executives and employees, the execution of marketing campaigns: All these topics can trigger brand risk events. The challenging branding environment calls for reimagining classic brand marketing through a refreshed and updated social risk management lens. Companies need to assess which socio-economic marketing opportunities can renew brand resonance. This involves not just identifying revenue generating opportunities, but also identifying, cataloging, and tracking SEP risk types in order for managers to understand the new landscape brands must now navigate. Then, they need to implement a framework to manage a brand’s social risks and to take advantage of potential opportunities. Fully embracing this responsibility changes the marketing executive’s role in a significant way: From top line revenue generation to a dual role that includes managing risks as well as returns.


  • Susan Fournier, Senior Associate Dean, Questrom Professor in Management, and Professor of Marketing, Boston University, Questrom School of Business, Boston, MA, USA
  • Shuba Srinivasan, Adele and Norman Barron Professor in Management, Boston University, USA
  • Patrick Marrinan, Managing Principal and Co-Founder, Marketing Scenario Analytica, New York, USA,
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