Today, consumers expect brands and organizations to take a genuine interest in being socially responsible and reflect human values. There was a time when the shoppers would have liked to see these social and environmental policies from brands, however now they expect and demand it. They are conscious and aware of the social responsibility that a brand is into and that influences their loyalty and purchase behavior. Consumers want brands and organizations to do what’s right on everything. They want them to drive a positive social change on a global basis.
There is a strong and positive impact of social responsibility on profitability. When buying products, customers pay visible attention to the social and environmental impact that these products are aligned with. Consumers purchasing products from socially responsible brands feel good about themselves. They believe that their purchases have some about of positive impact as well. Hence, they do not mind spending that extra bit.
Nowadays, customers do not hesitate to change their brands, if they find the other to be more in alignment with a good cause. They have a more positive image of the company and that forms a base for them to trust and invest in them.
Social responsibility and its ‘genuine’ implementation through authentic storytelling, impacts the brand in a huge way. It leads to consumer loyalty, consumer retention, and increased sales. It also provides a greater competitive edge. There are several ways in which the social good affects the consumers:
Social good: A boon to brand reputation:
Consumers have a positive outlook towards brands that are committed to social responsibility. Their propensity to be loyal and to invest in socially responsible brands is very strong. People are more passionate and supportive about the socially responsible, sustainable and ecological practices. Social causes tend to attract more concern and hence brands adopting such causes to make the world a better place build a higher reputation.
Spend more money where the heart is:
When the purchase of the product defines a socially positive impact it will have on the world, consumers are willing to pay more for it. It gives them a sense of goodness and gratitude. They feel optimistic about their own capability to make a transformative impact.
Higher engagement with the brand:
When an honest-to-goodness brand is responsible for much more than just generating profits, people feel more aligned to the brand and with time it creates a deep-rooted bonding. Their commitment to the brand is more about ‘doing good’ as opposed to 'spending money'. They help in promoting the brand through word of mouth or on social network sites. They like to stay up to date on the latest news and events. It tends to develop into a long-term relationship where a break-up isn’t an option.
Switch to brands that are socially responsible:
Consumers do not hesitate to switch to a brand that believes in showing genuine interest in the lives of their customers as opposed to making profits. Their contribution in addressing the social concerns and issues becomes a priority. They believe in engaging and investing in a brand that allows them to do so.
In the business world, honesty and authentic social responsibility is the key to retaining brand loyalty, strengthen reputations and create awareness. Organizations and brands cannot disregard the expectations of the consumers who are earnest in their inclination to identify with brands aligned with their values.
SmartHug, a benefit corporation, has managed to create brand recognition and brand loyalty through socially responsible activities. They believe in putting ‘consumers before the wallet’. They have aligned their values with consumer’s expectations, allowing them to identify and engage with the brand at a higher level.
Their ‘do one good deed a day - every act counts’ cause reflects simplicity and desire to make this world a better place. People are able to identify with this brand through this cause because any good deed big or small can make a significant difference in our lives. They make every act and every dream count.