More and more, modern brands are finding ways to take action in supporting causes they care about. Whether that takes the form of a social justice advocacy program, donating a percentage of finances to a non-profit, or taking on a social responsibility, however, is up to the company. No matter how you choose to give back and engage in social responsibility, it’s an increasingly necessary part of running a business.
Consumers in 2022 are actively checking that brands share their values and are working to make the world a better place. Aligning with your target consumers' values will help build a sense of community, further ensuring brand loyalty and repeat sales. Below, we’re sharing a few tips to help your brand navigate incorporating social causes and give-back components into business practices.
First and foremost, be authentic in your choices. Ask yourself, “What social causes align with the brand mission?” Knowing the customers you serve and the issues they feel connected to will help you authentically choose a cause to support.
For a sustainable, plant based beauty or fashion brand, a focus on environmental practices could work well. For a food or kitchen brand, working with local food pantries or farmer’s markets might be a good collaboration. Modern shoppers are skeptical and will be quick to notice if you’re offering an inauthentic marketing ploy that’s more trendy than heartfelt, so be sure to choose something that’s within your brand’s wheelhouse and can make a tangible difference in your community.
How will you show your support?
Next, decide how your company can best support your chosen cause. Will you donate financially? Offer time and employee participation through volunteering? Invoke a program for pro bono services, mentorships, or internships? Maybe you offer a combination of these options, working across several different organizations under the same umbrella. Find feasible options that make sense for your brand and work to offer a variety of opportunities for give-back, including employee engagement when possible.
Determine when you’ll give
Don’t forget to consider the timeline. Will this give-back program repeat annually and be tied to a specific holiday, or is it ongoing? Again, use your brand mission and voice to help answer these questions and stay consistent. Hopping on a quick Pride campaign in June, but failing to acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community in other ways throughout the year won’t do you any favors. If you do choose to participate in holiday fundraising or trendy sales offerings, find another way to support these causes throughout the year.
Don’t discount the value of brand collaborations
Together we can all achieve more, and working with brands that play in your space to solve a shared problem could be a great way to achieve real change. Plus, collaborating with other brands is great cross-marketing to expand brand awareness to new consumers.
Whatever way you choose to give back, ensure your customers know about it! Share it on social media, include mentions in marketing emails, offer physical evidence in the form of impact reports, and invite your community to help out when possible–all of these practices will contribute to a thriving and well-received give-back program.