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5 Principles For Demonstrating Your Brand’s CSR Commitment

Posted By: SGK December 19, 2013

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) isn’t new by any means, but demand for it is growing to unprecedented levels. More and more, consumers want to know the social and environmental values of the companies behind their purchases. 

Take the results of Nielsen’s recent global survey on CSR—50 percent of all participants from 58 countries said they would be willing to reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services (up 5 percent since 2011). 

Brands are differentiating themselves and proving their levels of commitment by following these basic principles sought after by today’s responsible consumers.

  • Authenticity – Consumers know it when they see it and can spot the disingenuous or imitative from a mile away. The best way to engage consumers is to start from a place of authenticity and relentlessly communicate it through great, original stories.
  • Sincerity – The brand must become the cause; social responsibility is so interwoven into the heart of the business that they are inseparable and indistinguishable. 
  • Transparency – Consumers want to share heartfelt values with their brands; these desired connections must be handled with unwavering respect, empathy, and honesty. When brands can deliver at this level, they lead markets and shift culture.
  • Game-Changing Creativity – Consumers want to be a part of the next big idea that applies disruptive innovation and out-of-the box thinking for greater social change.
  • Substance Made Simple – Consumers want to feel they have made a meaningful act of goodness that is easy to measure and understand. They want to know they are actually elevating the quality of life for the global community.

Marketing a company’s commitment to causes is an uphill battle. Programs and communications must be incontestably authentic, whole-hearted, transparent, creative, and simple… or else face being ignored, or even worse, being labeled as insincere. And it’s okay if your company wasn’t born with responsibility in its veins—if you adopt the code and are transparent about the journey, consumers with shared values will support you along the way.

To learn more, read “Global Demand for Responsible Consumption” by Bradley Reeves, Senior Brand Strategist at Anthem, part of our brand development group.

For additional insight on The Evolving Relationship Between Brands and Shoppers, download Checkout, Vol. 1 Issue 2.