Many companies are beginning to rally involved with social causes, offering consumers an insight into their values and beliefs – – whether it’s Ben & Jerry and their social-justice-themed ice cream or Airbnb offering temporary housing to 100,000 refugees. Consumers can check the brands that stand up for their beliefs (and which ones do not).
According to the data of Sprout Social, 70 percent of people believe it’s essential for brands to take a strong position on political and social issues. In addition, 66% of those who would like brands to take a stance on social problems claim it’s because they believe that brands can make a difference.
Brands that incorporate their constant commitment to do better for the environment, communities, and their customers to the very foundation of their operations can improve their bottom line and bring about positive changes worldwide.
In this process, businesses must consider their branding and message on the outside and their internal policies and practices.
Authenticity Is Crucial
Social activism must be genuine, and it shouldn’t be a marketing trick. Consumers can spot brands that employ cause-marketing to earn money where there is no genuine desire to help the cause or when a business’s actions or beliefs aren’t in line with the reasons they have explicitly stated they will be supportive of.
“Consumers today are extremely savvy, which is why as a strategist for brands, I strongly recommend incorporating the meaning purpose, meaning, and, when it is appropriate social values into your brand’s identity because people are highly discerning and need to be confident which brands that they select reflect what they believe in,” says Hilary Hartling is an experienced brand and messaging strategist.
Nina Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO of Milkywire Milkywire, the consumer and corporate impact platform focused on health for the planet. She said, “We recognize the importance of transparency in the younger generation. This leads to increased engagement and greater brand resonance. Brands therefore need to improve their storytelling, discussing the benefits storytellings and why – telling real stories that are based on the actual event.”
The combination of transparency and authenticity is a big hit with the consumers. When brands do this right and can support causes that matter to their customers, it increases the trust and loyalty of customers to these brands.
“Sustainability is a key concept of ours from the beginning for us, and it means working in the middle of what’s good for the human race and beneficial for the environment,” claims Xi Chen, founder, and designer of Sonderlier, an eco-friendly women’s clothing brand.
“We looked into the needs of our customers are looking for in their wardrobes beyond eco-friendly fabrics and decided that thoughtfully made clothing that permits her to live with a little closet but still allow to be able to choose from a variety of styles is our goal. The first collection we launched to pre-order a few months ago, and the overwhelming support and positive reviews we received from eco-conscious customers confirmed this notion. Our customers are well-informed about these issues, so to convey our values, it’s essential to stay clear of greenwashing and instead focus on transparency regarding the materials we use as well as our supply chain and labor practices, as well as our, giving back program. We are also aware that there is always the possibility of improvement, which is why we are always looking to tap into the knowledge of our clients and allow them to help us challenge the limits. Our customers can see the effort we put into it and appreciate our honesty and this builds confidence in our brand.” Chen shares. Chen.
Statistics Support Social Responsibility
In NielsenIQ’s corporate responsibility research, 55% of the respondents worldwide indicated that they are willing to pay more to purchase products and services from businesses dedicated to positive environmental and social impact.
“Social value” is a critical competitive differentiation – including it in your branding increases your value beyond just satisfaction with your customers. It lets you communicate with your customers through their emotions, giving them a sense of interacting with them through their own life experiences. I’ve seen this in customers and case studies throughout the years. It can motivate a customer to select an organization that can provide an additional purpose beyond the standard transaction. This is a significant motivator for younger millennials Gen Z and Gen Alpha, and Gen Alpha, who are demonstrating with their buying power that was having an impact on society is no longer a requirement to succeed in today’s competitive market,” says Sydney Petite CEO of Royal Street Agency which is a communication agency.
It’s evident the fact that social responsibility in corporate settings can have an effect on satisfaction of employees community, loyalty to customers and brands, which makes it a natural option for companies.