The world is getting more socially conscious by the day. As both community and environmental threats continue to be a part of the daily news, it’s important that brands take note on the impact they have in these areas, what they can do to make a difference, and how it may be affecting their consumer branding. This is especially important considering that 70% of Americans believe companies have an obligation to take actions to improve issues that may not be relevant to everyday business operations.
Before running off and creating plans and setting program goals, you need to take a deeper look into what the consumer wants. What is your audience expecting from you and what incentives do they want to see put in place concerning topics they care about? Every industry is different, and what one brand works towards could be completely different from another as their demographics change. Despite this however, there are some similarities that span across any consumer. The bottom line? Most Americans (79%) want companies to not only be more involved, but also do their best to continue making improvements.
So, if you’re wondering just how implementing these CSR efforts will impact consumer branding (both for better and worse) take a look below as we highlight some key areas:
Opportunities and Benefits
When it comes to the opportunities that companies have, the possibilities are truly endless. From diving into social justice, to donating for a yearly charity event, you have the power to make the difference that matters not only to your employees, but to your consumers as well. This last point is especially important to note. Consumers want to be a part of something that they feel strongly about. Research has shown that 87% of Americans say they’ll purchase products from a company that advocates for an issue they care about.
Not only this, but consumers have stated companies that do good for the community are more trustworthy and they are likely to have more brand loyalty. As a business, that’s really what you want, right? So, look into your local organizations. Is there a struggling non-profit you can aid? Can you show your support for disaster recovery or even have employees volunteer hours to help clean up your city’s parks? All of these could work to make a difference while giving you the opportunity to build that trust and brand loyalty. Or, steal it as 89% of Americans state they’ll switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause.
What if you chose not to to implement some form of CSR incentive? Does it really affect matters that much? The answer is yes. Not having some form of CSR or philanthropy strategy in place can indeed be detrimental to how consumers see your company and the branding you hope to represent.
Simply put, not having a CSR plan (or not having one that resonates with consumers) negatively impacts consumer branding and creates a disconnect between you and your customers. They feel like you are this other entity - not human. Meaning, if they find another company that can do the same service, they will most likely switch as their loyalty is non-existent. Or, they could decide to not buy or use your service in the first place. In fact, 76% of Americans say they will refuse to purchase a product if they found out a company supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.
On the other hand, even though philanthropy has been shown to benefits everything from communities to the companies themselves, there are still many obstacles that stand in the way of creating a proper strategy. These threats rang from major tax codes to struggles with morals, including fraud. Make sure that your plans are secure and on the right track by keeping tabs on the following aspects that could ruin your efforts:
- Political changes
- A continued shift from “corporate social responsibility” to “social impact” (stay on top of trends!)
- Tax deductions (or lack thereof)
- Lack of moral and safeguard policies
Even with a few threats looming around the corner, it’s no question that implementing a CSR plan within your company is beneficial especially for consumer brands. Don’t let your business and customers suffer anymore! Instead, speak with an expert today to see how CyberGrants can help you start your CSR journey.