Social Responsibility and The Bottom Line
Here’s some happy news for all the do-gooders out there: putting your do-good, feel-good philosophy into your business is a pretty sure-fire way to make you more successful. It’s a win-win! Social responsibility makes your clients feel better about your business, about themselves for contributing to it, and kind of about the world in general (we humans aren’t as terrible as we seem). More and more, consumers are expecting their favorite brands to be socially responsible, and in turn, allow them to make an impact through their purchases. A 2013 study on Americans’ attitudes toward corporate social responsibility and social impact conducted by Cone Communications has shown the developing desire for business’ to create meaningful change in the world, as well as publicize it. More than 90% of the 1,270 adult consumers surveyed said they would be more likely to trust and be loyal to a socially responsible business, rather than to companies that do not make a positive social impact. Additionally, a whopping 88% want to hear about these efforts, generally through social media campaigns. And 91 percent would like to see more products, retailers and services support worthy causes, a number that has steadily been on the increase since 2010.
Another worldwide study conducted by The Neilsen Company shows the same trends on an international scale. According to more than 30,000 surveyed in 60 countries, 55 percent will pay more for services and products from companies that make a positive impact on society and the environment. Age was an important factor in how respondents answered: Millenials (born approximately between 1980-2000) are the most likely to push for social responsibility, with more than half of the total number of respondents within that age-group stating they would be more likely to pay extra for sustainable products. Less than half that number of Gen-X’ers (from 35-49 year olds) responded equally, and only 25% of the Baby Boomers (ages 50-64) said the same. The future is coming, and apparently Millenials are the ones that think this stuff isn’t optional.
Also, to help maintain customer trust and loyalty, companies need to back up their claims! You can’t just say your business is socially responsible if it isn’t. Because, with the internet consumers can (and do) research the brands that they prefer, and they love to use social media to communicate what they do an do not like about what companies are doing.
Do-gooders do better, people!