The concept that businesses have a responsibility to invest in and support the communities and societies they operate within is not a new one, yet it is still something of a controversial and oft-misinterpreted area of debate.
Thankfully the shifting priorities of decision-makers are causing more attention to be paid to social responsibility. Here is a look at why executives are investigating this concept and what benefits doing so can bring to the table.
Taking the long view
A whole host of large businesses have begun publicly promoting their intentions to adopt a more active approach to ensuring that their products, services and everyday operations improve customer wellbeing. This includes the likes of Facebook, along with a number of other corporations that have traditionally focused solely on boosting engagement and profits at any cost.
This comes as a result of the recognition that a CSR strategy can actually deliver significant benefits in the long term, even if the short term impact to revenues might be undesirable. Of course, it’s important to ask yourself vital questions before implementing such a corporate social responsibility strategy; including what your goals are, potential drawbacks and how you can get backing from your company and high-value stakeholders.
Ultimately, aside from any of the ethical or moral discussions that are being had around this issue, the main reason that executives are paying attention to social responsibility is that it has been proven to make brands more robust and profitable over time.
Adapting to exceed customer expectations
For consumer-facing businesses, the reality of modern marketing is that brands cannot afford to overlook the need to demonstrate a conscientiousness towards the wider society that they occupy. More attention is being paid both to the social and the environmental impact that organizations of all sizes have at the moment, which means that even minor misdemeanors can be pounced upon by those eager to make progressive improvements to human civilization.
From reducing the amount of plastic packing used on products to addressing inequalities in promotional messaging which might prop up outdated stereotypes, brands are being held to higher standards than ever before in a range of arenas. This means that execs need to take a proactive approach to implementing improvements so that they can appeal to the more socially switched-on customers they are targeting in the 21st century.
Furthermore by codifying your efforts to embrace social responsibility in a business context, you can treat it in much the same way as you would compliance with payment security regulations or any other necessity of running a commercial enterprise. It takes the guesswork out of responding to changing trends and gets you ahead of the game.
Loyalty is assured
Taking social responsibility seriously is not just about hooking new customers, but also about ensuring that existing customers are kept onboard, since this by far the more affordable of the two options.
If people are attuned not only to the quality of the products and services that a brand provides, but also engaged by the broader social ideals it upholds, they will be more likely to keep supporting it.
So at the end of the day, corporate social responsibility should be seen as good for business as well as good for the world at large.