The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility has been gaining significant support across various industries in recent years, as the ubiquity of media has made curating and enhancing one’s reputation perhaps more valuable than ever.
According to a report published by KPMG, today 93% of the world’s largest 250 companies publish annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports.
Over 9,700 businesses have signed the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainability initiative. These companies vow to meet certain human rights, labor, environmental, and anti-corruption standards, making the conscious decision to engage in ethical business practices.
With CSR as a standard business practice, many more company leaders are trying to figure out their own niche in the space.
Just this week, the executive corporate secretary of a bank we work with shared a study on how engaging in financial literacy programs leads to brand enhancement. We pushed our client to utilize this topic for CSR brand building about three years ago.
How much do consumers really care whether a company respects local communities where it operates or the company’s work to limit its environmental impact?
According to a 2017 Deloitte survey, 70% of young Millennials, age 18 to 26, say a company’s commitment to the community has an influence on their decision to work there. In fact, all around the world, 67% of people prefer to work for socially responsible companies. Additionally, 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable corporate brand.
Many companies that have made the conscious effort to engage in socially responsible practices realize that CSR provides businesses with unique opportunities to retain and attract customers and human capital.
CSR as a strategic choice is perhaps one of the best PR tools a company can deploy. Involvement with meaningful causes allows customers to form emotional bonds, creating loyalty. Social responsibility brings value and credibility to a brand.
Leveraging news about the topic is good for business and distinguished companies from their competitors.
Take the CEO who recently gave his car to a new employee who had trekked nearly 20 miles on foot overnight, to be on time for his first day of work. With hundreds of news outlets reporting, that story was a genuine corporate brand builder.
CSR is not only a way for a company to have a positive impact, it is a way to telegraph corporate values to potential employees and customers, one more piece in the increasingly crucial task of constructing a strong and lasting brand.