Social responsibility, especially in today's society, has become a determining factor in whether or not people want to support a business. When a business is socially responsible, their values and actions have a positive impact on society.
According to GlobeScan, 40% of consumers worldwide seek brands with a purpose and trust them to act in the best interest of society. Take Ben & Jerry's for example. For decades they have been using their platform to influence social change. The 'values' section of their website lists all of the causes they support and current movements that the company has been focusing on. Ben & Jerry's also provides links under each cause that help consumers learn more about it and what they can do to help. Their social responsibility (and delicious ice cream, but that's besides the point) has helped them maintain a strong customer base throughout the years.
Which brings us to our next point…
You can't be all talk and no walk when you aim to be socially responsible. In other words, saying you support a cause or movement doesn't cut it. You need to act on your word, get out there and make change happen. When your actions don't match up with what you pledge to accomplish, people will quickly notice. This is a great way to ruin your brand's credibility.
So how can your brand become more socially responsible?
The work you do must align with your brand's mission and purpose. What does your brand stand for? How can you incorporate your mission into the work that you do to serve society? Let's say you own a consulting firm for small to mid-sized businesses. The purpose of your firm is to give these businesses the opportunities and resources to grow and flourish. You could possibly work with local college students looking to build their own businesses and help mentor them. Every business has room for social responsibility, whether you're a small business start-up or a large corporation.
Maddie Szczerba is our IFC Collegiate Messaging Intern. She is currently majoring in Strategic Public Relations and minoring in Business Communication. When she’s not in the office you can find her sipping on an iced chai, scouring Hulu for another show to binge-watch, or venturing across Cedar Falls with friends.