Most companies today have some form of social responsibility attached to their business. There are huge benefits for companies who do this, from a good image to a tax cut. But are companies making the best of the opportunities in this space?
Lets talk about this from a brand perspective.
There are plenty of way to do ‘good’ as a corporation. One method can be completely external. To donate from your revenue to a cause that you think is worthy. Let’s look at some classic old school examples. Let’s start with Microsoft. Conspiracy theories aside, you are likely to think they are good guys, because the do good and talk about it. It’s in the news. You now trust Microsoft a little. You think Bill Gates is a great guy. Are you going to buy their products because of this? maybe. If you’re an apple user, you will appreciate and respect Microsoft from a safe distance and go back to your life of debauchery and apple products. Because it doesn't necessarily impact you PERSONALLY.
That brings me to a second method. Marrying the ‘good’ you do to your business and brand image. Lets look at a brand like Dove. Dove built an image of promoting ‘real beauty’ and celebrating ‘real women.’ On a subliminal level, when you walk through a drug store aisle, you are likely to think Dove cares, at least a little more than their competitors. You don't just think that Dove = the good guys, but you are more likely to think Dove cares about YOU. Because they built ‘the personal’ into their narrative. When it’s personal you are more likely to make a purchase. Another example - Raymond - the suit you wear on your graduation night that turns you from a 17 year old who barely made it thorough high school to being ‘a complete man’. Because of the narrative built around it. A man in Raymond good respectable man who has it all.
This is the difference between saying ‘We do good’ and ‘We, as a brand, ARE fundamentally, good.’ The former builds appreciation. The latter builds trust.
The power of the narrative we build around a brand is exponential. The examples we looked at are primarily consumer facing brands. How can this be applied to B2b brands? More importantly, how can you implement this into your business and brand image? Take a step back, Before you google top 20 charities which will give me a tax cut, analyse the good you are already doing. How does your business benefit society. How can the little things you do be tied into your brand image. If you’re giving to charity - are you giving to an organisation that ties in with your vision?
Find how you can build it into your brand experience and narrative. You will establish trust with you customers and you will develop and edge over your competition. A little but of creative thinking will take you a long way!