How to Become a Socially-Conscious Brand

Go beyond mandated CSR.

Most companies have some kind of Corporate Social Responsibility program, but a significant proportion are just going through the motions. Perhaps the company makes a contribution to a charity or sponsors/ lends its voice to a ‘worthy cause’. This isn’t good enough anymore. And you now have the opportunity to do more, be more to your ideal audience. Today, your brand has the opportunity to become relevant to the larger community. You are no longer just a manufacturer or service provider. You now want to be seen as a brand that wants to make a difference and this cements the trust your people have in your brand.

The four E’s of being a socially conscious brand.

Broadly speaking, socially conscious brand initiatives can be categorized into Education, Employment, Equality and Environment. Which one is relevant to your brand, your product, your service? Where can your brand be most relevant and make the biggest impact? Take education for instance. At Disney they created a skilling program called Aspire that financed the upskilling of their employees. This was not conditional upon continued employment; just something good that the company was doing for its people. Some 45,000+ Disney employees signed up! Disney invested big, but the returns were big too — in terms of the loyalty of its employees and the company’s cachet as an empathetic company willing to use its deep pockets to create positive change in the community.

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