Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer a new trend, and if it’s not already on your brand’s radar, it needs to be. Both consumers and employees are looking for companies that give back. In fact, one study found that 77 percent of consumers were more likely to purchase from companies that they feel demonstrate a commitment to social, economic and environmental issues. There are a variety of benefits to having a CSR program, and if you don’t have one yet, you might be wondering when and how to choose the right initiative.
When should you engage with a CSR initiative?
The time to develop a CSR initiative is now. Brands can’t afford to be behind the times on this important aspect of branding. There are a multitude of benefits to a CSR initiative including:
- Showing a commitment to something bigger than your brand and having positive impact
- Bolstering your brand image and increasing customer loyalty
- Boosting employee morale, increase retention and attract top talent
- Increasing revenue from loyal customers who want to purchase from companies that make a difference
How do you choose a CSR initiative?
It might be easy to say that you want to have a CSR initiative, but choosing the right cause can be challenging. The most important thing to remember is that authenticity is key here as it is with all your other branding efforts. Global Giving has a few tips for creating a sustainable CSR program:
Build around core competencies – There are so many causes to choose from, but you’ll want one that’s in alignment with your business. This will make it much easier to contribute and give back, as your team will already be knowledgeable about the situation.
Choose something that matters to your customers – Consumers will be loyal and purchase from companies when they feel that supporting the company also supports other issues that matter to them.
Keep employees in mind – Your employees want to be proud of where they work. In fact, 76 percent of millennials will take CSR into consideration when looking for employment opportunities.
Track performance – Your C-suite and investors will want to know that your CSR efforts are proving to be effective, so make sure to evaluate performance to show its worth.
Open the field – By expanding your brand’s definition of CSR beyond traditional annual giving and marketing, you might be able to touch on something that speaks to your employees and customers.
Be responsive – Keeping your initiative somewhat flexible will allow your brand to rapidly respond to current events (like the COVID-19 pandemic).
The time is now. Here’s how.
If your brand or company doesn’t yet have a CSR initiative, the time to start planning and implementing one is right now. There are many benefits to creating this type of program, especially if you follow the tips above for how to create one that’s sustainable.
Contact the team at Beyond Fifteen to learn how we can not only help you develop a CSR initiative, but spread the word to your customers so they know that supporting you makes an impact.