How Brands Can Be Socially Responsible
Corporate socially responsible (CSR) brands take an interest in wider social issues, often focusing on specific social issues that will attract a customer base that tends to share the same values. Being seen to be proactively working to better social issues they affiliate with can not only help people affected by these issues but also potentially increase their profits. This is because many consumers are increasingly veering towards businesses that are interested in improving the world around them as opposed to being solely interested in making a profit. Brands can be socially responsible in many ways, some of which we shall now look at.
What is corporate social responsibility?
A company that cares is what many consumers prefer to buy a product or use a service from. Many consumers are choosing to refrain from purchasing from companies with nefarious business practices, preferring to spend their money with those that are helping to make our world a better place. In fact, 90% of consumers are not only being prepared to use a company with positive CSR practices, but they are also more likely to remain loyal to them. This makes CSR a fundamental feature of any business.
Philanthropy typically involves money being donated by one person or organization to another for them to use to improve the lives of others. Just as the patrons at Hootenyoung.com are dedicated to providing a portion of their profits to charities supporting veterans, donations are often given to people or organizations that help disadvantaged segments of our society. It is a great way to connect to consumers and raise your profile whilst also helping others, which is the main purpose of philanthropy. It has been discovered that 70% of millennials will spend more on brands whose causes align with theirs.
If your business is planning to donate money to a cause, it would be advisable to do some research into this to find one that relates to your values. This connection gives you a purpose to support it because otherwise your business could be accused of tokenism or jumping on the bandwagon. An example of this is during a month celebrating equal justice for LGBTQ in the UK, several companies started using the colors affiliated with this cause on their products. The issue was that they had not been seen to openly advocate their support for this cause outside of this specific month which led to their actions being deemed a poor PR stunt. Therefore, any cause your business chooses to support should be authentic and genuine. Additionally, your brand should also advertise and sell responsibly in line with this, so discouraging patrons from drinking and driving or underage drinking, for instance, would also demonstrate that you are a brand with a conscience.
This is when you give your time freely to help those that need your help. There are many nonprofit organizations that require the goodwill of volunteers to help them achieve things, both on a local and national level. Volunteering is a great way to help others and has been shown to positively affect your wellbeing by
Meet new people and form friendships by working together to achieve a common goal
Make a positive difference in the lives of those less fortunate than yourself
Increase your brain function as you learn new things
Increase your self-esteem as you learn new skills and develop them
As consumers change from Baby Boomers to Generation X and generations beyond thereafter, their purchasing power has changed perspective. Recent research indicates they are more socially conscious and want businesses they purchase from to have similar values. This can have serious implications for lost revenue, especially if a business does not attempt to
Become more environmentally conscious
This is more than having procedures to protect the planet, but also includes ethical and sustainable ways to source items and give back to communities it sources things from
Invest in Clearwater programs
Access to clean water should be a basic human right. It can help prevent a number of health conditions and can literally save lives. With some communities having to walk miles to access water, having a local supply can help a community flourish and make them more independent.
Reduce their waste
Also connected to being more environmentally conscious, reducing waste is a concern for us all. Biodegradable goods help with sustainability, especially as the population of this planet continues to increase. Landfills are the oldest form of rubbish disposal and are bad for the environment as well as us. Developing environmentally friendly ways to reduce waste will positively impact a business in many ways.
If you think your business can get away with not taking heed of the purchasing power of potential consumers, think again. Even huge corporations like Google pay attention to consumers. In 2017, they achieved their goal of using 100% renewable energy. At the time of writing this article, they are still the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser and happen to also be the most popular online search engine.
Ethical Work Practices
Many businesses may source products from overseas. They venture into communities, set up a workforce to either harvest or make what they need before taking it back to their country and either selling the items or using them to make something else. This aspect of the business has often appeared in the news as worker’s rights and conditions can sometimes be poor and dangerous, with them often earning less than workers doing the same job in other countries.
Many businesses have made efforts to stop this, ensuring that workers in foreign countries are protected and receive decent wages. This has allowed some workers to afford medication and educational fees for their families. Some businesses have even gone further and invested in their workers’ communities so that standards of living and education can be improved. It is only right for employees to be treated fairly, regardless of where they are in the world.
Corporate social responsibility could now be considered a vital component of your business’s marketing strategy and conscience. Consumers will see past any fake attempts at trying to appease them in this way. Therefore, whatever action you take in this regard must be genuine and long-lasting. It is only right that help is given to those less fortunate by those who can help. This is how we make our world a better place to live in and also makes corporate social responsibility mutually beneficial to all concerned.