If you own a business or hold a leadership position in a company – you know branding matters. Your products and services carry your identity – the same identity that sticks in the minds of your customers and clients. But effective branding means more than just good advertising and campaigns – it can also mean making an impact the community you serve.
In today’s crowded business landscape, corporate social responsibility is a terrific way for business groups to make a difference towards the greater good – and boost branding power.
What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?
In general, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is defined as taking measures to ensure that business is conducted ethically – considering the social, economic, and environmental impact of any action.
In practice, a socially responsible corporation or business would make attempts to connect with local communities, build partnerships with community organizations, and seek to develop impactful relationships with customers.
Why It Matters
More than just an empty maxim, corporate social responsibility does actually matter. Apart from the primary mission of serving the greater good or seeking philanthropic goals, CSR can be a tremendous boost to company perception and integrity in the minds of customers.
According to researchers from the Villanova University Public Administration Department, CSR allows business to “boost their brand.” This means that publicized, properly communicated acts of social responsibility can help build a positive reputation and increase the likelihood of continued business, contacts, and network building.
The short take: corporate social responsibility helps businesses control their message.
Responsibility In Action
In recent years, several large American companies have constructed powerful brand identities rooted almost solely in their respective acts of corporate social responsibility.
One prominent example is Patagonia. The company – a lifestyle brand and gear company catering to surfers, climbers, and outdoorsmen – has successfully merged a customer-held appreciation for the outdoors with company-held philanthropic initiatives. Calling itself “the activist company,” Patagonia has placed issues like climate change and river management at the forefront of their overall brand.
Another example—Starbucks. Like Patagonia, Starbucks has centered much of their CSR campaigns on environmental issues, albeit in the regions in which the company’s coffee supply is grown. The result is a branded connection between the average Starbucks consumer and a typical coffee farmer halfway around the world.
Here lies the pattern of successful CSR moves: combining branding with causes in-line with customer interests and products.
Get Business Help
The secret to impactful corporate social responsibility? Communication.
Letting the world know about the good you’re doing is as simple as including corporate social responsibility in your branding, advertising, and customer experience.
To get started with the right communication strategies, you need a qualified expert. With years of experience in the corporate communications world, Kathryn Lancioni has the tools, connections, and know-how to get results. Kathryn and her professional staff at Communication Insights are ready to help.
To schedule a consultation, contact Communication Insights today!