Many years ago, people didn’t regard businesses as entities with a role in society. At least, a role beyond providing products, services, and employment. Big companies didn’t possess an approachable image. And then, many years later, these mega-corporations are making viral ads, and most of them tug the heartstrings of their customers.
Today, businesses are no longer faceless beings that only take. Society now expects them to give back, thanks to their damage to communities and the environment. In addition, consumers have become more aware of their impact on society and the planet. As such, they carefully choose the businesses they support. They’d rather pay more for a brand that gives back than pay less for a brand that only takes.
A business that pursues long-term goals for its people and the world is a socially responsible one. They employ a concept called corporate social responsibility (CSR). This responsibility influences their marketing strategy, day-to-day operations, and decision-making. The business takes most of CSR’s benefits, but their customers feel a significant impact, too.
Below are the things customers experience with socially responsible businesses:
A Sense of Doing Their Part
When customers buy from a socially responsible business, they feel as if they do their part for their community. And the more socially responsible a business is, the more supportive its community and customers get.
Businesses with CSR gain their customers’ trust by partaking in campaigns like Earth Day and others. It makes them more connected to their customers because they care about the same issues. CSR’s impact on customers becomes more evident if big corporations give back. That’s because, unlike small businesses, big corporations can tackle several issues at once. As a result, their CSR efforts have far-reaching outcomes, from helping reduce world hunger to mitigating climate change.
When customers see these changes, they feel proud of being one of the people who helped make that happen. They may not donate to charity regularly, but they were also able to give back because of supporting a socially responsible business. This sense of doing their part can help remove any guilt from not being active enough in a community.
A Better Perception of Brands
Customers perceive socially responsible brands better than brands without CSR. As a result, socially responsible businesses can create a platform to market and catch their audience’s attention. They can use technology, for instance. An innovative CSR software tool can help businesses promote campaigns and share the impacts of their CSR efforts.
Customers need to see the results of a business’s CSR. It boosts the business’s transparency. And transparency also makes a business socially responsible. They don’t need to show their entire production process to their customers and community. But at least, they can demonstrate how their practices benefit specific marginalized groups or the Earth. For example, if a business donates part of their sales to an animal rights organization, they must show what their donations have achieved. It could be a more habitable sanctuary for animals or better healthcare for the sick or injured. This transparency makes customers perceive the business positively, trusting that they are real change-makers and not merely experts at lip service.
An Enhanced Engagement With Businesses
Customers engage better with socially responsible brands. Since they care for the same issues, customers can resonate with the business’s message. This connection makes customers eager to engage with the business at every opportunity. For example, if they buy a product and the business asks for feedback, the customers would not hesitate to give it. They may also leave positive reviews about the product, comment on the business’s social media posts, etc.
Furthermore, customers can also spread the word about socially responsible businesses. Thus, the business can utilize word-of-mouth advertising. Despite today’s technology, word-of-mouth remains effective. It only takes one customer to tell an eco-conscious friend that a particular brand uses recyclable packaging. This eco-conscious friend would then check out the brand. They will buy a product or service if they are interested. And if they had a good experience with their purchase, they will talk about it with their other friends.
In the end, the business grew its customer base. But more importantly, they allowed more people to make a change by turning to recyclable packaging instead of plastic. Their number may be small, but eliminating one plastic waste at a time is better than none.
Hence, even if the law doesn’t require businesses to adopt a CSR, all businesses should do it. CSR will help them attract customers eager to make the world a better place. As many as 87% of Americans will buy a product because its brand advocates for an issue they care about. So, even if your business is undersized with a limited budget, start giving back in any way. Benefits will return to you tenfold.