Let’s talk about social responsibility! Over the past years, we’ve seen shifts in how consumers have been holding their favorite brands more accountable for their actions and how they express social responsibility. There are many different ways to incorporate social responsibility into your business and use your values and beliefs to create a loyal community.
Facing social and environmental issues, and giving back to your community are shown to have a strong influence on consumers when making purchasing decisions. Marketing efforts should not just be about promoting your product or service but building a brand that consumers can trust.
How It Affects Your Brand
With so many marketing tactics and tools, and the influence of social media on consumers, telling the world that you want to go green isn’t going to cut it anymore. A CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) survey showed that 55% of consumers “believe it’s important for companies to take a stand on key social, environmental, and political issues.”
While you risk disagreement with your audience, being vocal on world issues, spreading awareness, and giving back to those who align with your company’s mission will drive loyal consumers to your brand. Being honest and open about who you support and why is what counts.
Having a strong sense of social responsibility and a mission-driven goal is important for not only how consumers perceive your brand, but also for potential and existing employees. Having a strong ‘about you’ page that truly reflects what your company’s purpose is and how you want to make a positive impact on society, the environment, and your work culture can elevate your brand above more muted competitors. In a CSR survey, almost 70% of employees said that “they wouldn’t work for a company without a strong purpose.”
Emphasize why you created your brand and how you want to share your values and change the workplace. Having a strong company culture is a great way to add authenticity to your brand. Don’t forget to appreciate not only your customers but your employees as well. Diversity, generosity, and clearly defining who you are and why you support other organizations will keep your employees happy and motivated. A CSR Study shows that “90% of employees percent of employees who work at companies with a strong sense of purpose say they’re more inspired, motivated, and loyal.” Keep your customers and employees involved!
Consumer behaviors are always changing. Social responsibility is more prevalent than ever before. Gen Z and millennials make up the largest population in the U.S. and will eventually lead the consumer market. With that being said, these generations are more likely to educate themselves on your brand before purchasing your product or service. 70% of Gen Z consumers said they look to buy from companies they believe show social responsibility and 65% of Gen Z try to find the source of the products they buy. Relating to your ‘about you’ page, your audience cares about your mission as a company. To sum up: the younger generations are serious about supporting companies that have a mission that makes them feel their voice is heard.
Social responsibility doesn’t always have to focus on broader areas. Focusing on giving back to your community is another great way to reach out to consumers. In 2020, localism made an impact on consumers. Buying products or services and supporting small businesses are seen as more ethical and authentic. “They’re finding community connections and embracing local pride and thinking, all while adding a hyperlocal lens to creative work.” Use your brand to show support to community fundraisers, local charities, and different events that resonate with your values. In the IRI’s 2018 European Shopper Insights Survey, “55% of respondents preferred to buy local brands to help support local and small producers.” This can be a great way to show you care about your community!
Examples of Social Responsibility From Brands
A great example of how important social responsibility is to your brand is Abercrombie. Once known for exclusivity is now is all about inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability. From once having one body type for their models, they now include models that mirror all body types and ethnicities.
They have become a more affordable, sustainable company that celebrates all body types, ages, and incomes. They have clear goals of giving back to communities and have partnered with brands that support the same clear mission of repurposing clothes teaming with ThredUp to eliminate waste. This collaboration is a way of reducing waste in the clothing industry, there is even an incentive to get more customers to follow with this by offering them credit when you repurpose your clothes!
Patagonia is another brand with a strong voice in environmental issues. For 40 years Patagonia has “been in business to save our home planet.” It’s a strong statement and their activism is sincere. They follow sustainable practices in creating their products, have their own initiative for donating 1% of profits to conservation, and have a huge section on Activism on their website. To boot, they literally try to connect their audience with local efforts, petitions, drives, and nonprofits that will help save the world.
In the end, building, your brand is much more than numbers. Incorporating social responsibility into your brand will create loyal customers and value for your company. Giving back to your community and having a strong company mission that tells us who you are and who you support and following through with that is what’s going to build your brand to success. As we focus more on the environment and social issues, inclusivity, and diversity, it’s important to reflect on these issues every step of the way.
Consumers and employees are what drive the success of your brand and showing that you care about them is a great way to keep those loyal communities standing by your brand. If you have any questions on how to incorporate social responsibility into your brand and how to express your values in your marketing contact us today!