Conscious consumerism, also called ethical consumerism, has become quite the buzzword in recent times. The term refers to how people are making informed purchasing decisions that seek to make a positive environmental, social, and even political impact.
While conscious consumerism has been a discussion even before COVID-19, the staggering effects of the virus have pushed such conversations to the forefront. Consumers are paying more attention now to which brands are making good social and environmental changes.
Corporate social responsibility is no longer a suggestion to improve the image of your business. CSRs are a must for brands to showcase authentic, socially aware efforts that make a genuine difference in the work to remain competitive post-pandemic, especially since today’s consumers are more scrutinizing than before.
Highlight Your Business’s Core Values
You can reinforce the authenticity of your CSR strategies by first looking at the values that your company seeks to uphold. Stay true to what your company stands for. When you have a good grasp of the kind of good your business wants to do, creating your action points and reaching out to communities becomes a simpler matter.
One example of an effective and cohesive CSR effort is that of Starbucks Coffee. Their commitment is to invest in “coffee communities.” The company began donating seedlings to coffee farmers in 2015 through the One Tree for Every Bag program, which aims to replace trees that have become less efficient in producing fruits and help maintain the farmers’ livelihoods.
Just like Starbucks, you can relate your CSR efforts to the kind of products or services you provide without losing their meaning. A tagline that aligns with your core values adds character to it. Partnering with a supplier in the promotional products industry to create themed merchandise also helps increase awareness of your brand’s CSR in various ways, too.
Give Help Where It Is Need
An effective CSR program is also sensitive to what its community needs. When developing your company’s CSR, consider current events to see where you can respond best.
Today, the world is in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its most apparent consequence is that many people have gotten sick because of the virus. In addition to this, unemployment rates also reached a record high.
Your company is in a position to extend assistance through relief efforts. For instance, personal care brands can donate packages of their goods to organizations that are giving these to households that lack them. Restaurant chains and food companies are also able to send meal packs to health frontliners and essential workers.
During times of crisis, however, present your company’s donations with care and sensitivity. Do not turn efforts into an opportunity to simply bring better publicity to a brand or a product. Offering services in support of those in need is the primary goal of helping during tragic times.
Invite Others to Be Your Spokesperson
Having the same few company executives speaking about the company’s efforts and accomplishments brings the attention away from the cause and towards the company instead. This can be easily perceived as opportunism despite good intentions. Prevent this from occurring by letting the community you support speak on your behalf.
Allow the charity or the organization to announce the news of your support. You may also do interviews with members of the community to gain a deeper understanding of how the company’s relief efforts have helped them. Featuring individuals from your team who have been personally involved in organizing the relief efforts also allows consumers to see a fuller picture of your CSR.
Remember that the genuine testimonials from those involved better inform the public of your CSR efforts than formal statements from corporate executives.
Do Not Oversell Your Efforts
It cannot be overstated that your business should uphold honesty in every step of your CSR, from building the program to its execution and disseminating press materials. Do not exaggerate what your company has accomplished for its beneficiaries.
Remember that today’s consumers approach new brands with skepticism, making an effort to check on the truthfulness of a business’s marketing practices before supporting its products. Gain their trust and loyalty through honest means.
Your corporate social responsibility should not revolve around your brand alone. It should also highlight the cause you are supporting, encouraging the public to support the charity or start something similar in their own communities.
Let the results of your socially responsible actions ultimately speak for themselves. As you develop your team’s very own CSR program, let the possibility of offering genuine service be your motivator.