A great product is no longer enough to win a customer’s approval. Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly crucial for a business to have a socially conscious identity, whether it is backing up a movement like Black Lives Matter, protecting animals’ rights, or supporting climate change campaigns. Why does it matter? Modern consumers, employees, and shareholders today are more likely to support a business whose values align with theirs.
According to Nielsen, more and more Americans are becoming responsible citizens of the world by being conscious of how they consume. They are expecting businesses to be involved in the process of making a positive impact on the community. This means these people are willing to put their dollars where their values are. And that should be something businesses should focus on if they want to stay on top of the game.
To become a socially responsible company may sound easy-peasy, but where to start is something to ponder. This article was written to help businesses begin their journey to becoming socially responsible brands.
1. Establish your social responsibility mission
Focus on how to give back to the community by actively seeking ways to help. This mission must be a foundation, a bloodline of the business that will reflect every decision a company’s leaders, managers, and staff will make.
The mission must be straightforward and not vague as it may be hard to relay the correct message across the whole organization. It is also easier to create an appropriate strategy if the mission is clear and straightforward.
Think of what your brand stands for, write it down, and once established, you may start brainstorming ways on how to can bring your written plans to action.
2. Set realistic goals
Now that the mission is set, it is time for goal-setting. They say not to bite more than what you can chew. This is true and can be applied to goal-setting as well. While it is impressive to provide homes for every homeless American, that can be overwhelming and too far-reaching, especially for a small business. It is vital to create measurable goals. It will allow pinpointing what exactly the company wants to achieve and when the goals have been achieved.
Follow the SMART goal: Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
3. Collaborate with businesses and organizations that share the same mission as yours
Go for the ones which missions resonate best with yours. Once you have recognized issues that matter to you and your consumers, support them wholeheartedly.
Take this specific example: A company that sells beach essentials such as waterproof sunscreen. They must produce their products so that when a consumer wears them, they can swim in the ocean without damaging the coral reefs. Once the product is set, seek to help organizations that maintain and guard coral reefs. Depending on the scale of a business, they can either donate money to the organization or fund a study that will improve coral reef health.
Furthermore, both parties can collaborate to ban the use of sunscreens and other sun protector products that contains harmful ingredients—which can be an outstanding marketing strategy for your business.
4. Commit to practicing ethical labor
A company’s labor practices speak volumes about who they truly are. For a company to become socially responsible, it is only appropriate to start from within. Take these things into careful deliberation:
- Fair wages for each employee
- Create a safe, healthy, and positive workplace
- Respect and value employees
- Create an avenue for growth and development
5. Care for the environment
Business can help the environment in various ways. One popular way is to reduce a company’s carbon footprint by going green. By doing so, a company may lessen its negative environmental impact. Here are some company practices to adopt:
- Switch to energy-efficient lighting and appliances
- Implement a paperless environment
- Encourage the whole company to ride a bike to work
- Organize a tree-planting activity once a year
6. Make your efforts last
One-time attempt to display social consciousness may only do more harm than good. Walk the talk, take efforts from the heart, and continuously seek ways to help the community.
These steps may benefit businesses in many ways than simply getting a tax deduction from a donation they made for a certain charity. Numerous studies prove that being socially responsible can positively impact one’s business as a whole. It can paint a positive image of a brand to its consumers, employees, and stakeholder, which can help a business thrive. Being socially conscious shouldn’t be too much an effort for a business owner, especially if you do it willingly.