What comes to mind when you think of effective branding? Snazzy colour schemes? Catchy slogans? Perhaps an engaging and consistent tone of voice?
While these elements are undoubtedly vital for building brand identity, there’s another factor marketers commonly overlook – social impact
Building a brand that looks beyond profit and aims to do good in the world is the way to go! A fabulous way to improve your company’s reputation, boost engagement, and encourage growth. If you’re feeling sceptical, just look at some of the latest facts and figures surrounding consumer behaviour.
In other words, factoring social impact into your branding strategy is a win-win move. As well as ensuring your company makes a genuinely positive difference in the world, focusing on social impact could improve your bottom line and build your customer base. It’s time to breathe new life into your brand!
Six reasons why social impact is so vital
Here are just some of the reasons why your company needs to consider social impact:
1. Customer values are shifting
We’re not sure whether you’ve noticed, but the world has undergone a few seismic changes in recent years. On top of the upheavals of COVID-19, climate change and the development of social justice movements have altered how many people view the world.
According to a recent survey, half of the respondents claim to have totally revised their personal values and purpose since the pandemic. Also, over 70% expecting companies to understand and address their objectives.
- In other words, the customers you may have served before the pandemic are not the same as those you’re serving today.
- Failure to keep up with shifting expectations could result in loss of business, dented profits, and ultimate business failure. If this sounds scary, don’t despair.
- Reorienting your brand strategy will quickly address this problem and ensure your messaging resonates with today’s politically minded consumers.
If you’re unsure where to start, it may be worth sending out a survey to determine what your customers want and expect from your business. Data is fundamental for generating branding strategies that deliver genuine value to clients. It is well worth spending time on research. Just remember to ask questions oriented around social impact and corporate responsibility.
2. The climate crisis is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore
Today’s consumers are more anxious about climate change than ever before. With our impact on the planet becoming ever clearer, over 80% of global consumers believe that businesses should be working to mitigate their ecological footprint and actively working to resolve the climate crisis.
- If you’re under the illusion that this anxiety is unique to younger people or other demographics – think again.
- These findings were similar across a range of groups, with older adults expressing deep concern for the futures of their children and grandchildren.
- In essence, you must pay attention to the climate crisis, regardless of who makes up your customer base.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and refine your eco-credentials. Obviously, the first things to consider are your production processes and the types of materials you require. If you can make your goods and services more environmentally friendly, it’s time to get started (and let your customers know about it!).
- Donating to environmental charities
- Planting a tree for every product sold
- Improving your company’s recycling
- Energy-saving efforts
- Getting involved with important climate research.
3. You could save money!
If you’re keen to improve your brand’s eco-credidentials, using fewer resources and improving your waste management processes could significantly lower operational costs and help your business grow in the long term.
What’s more, social impact marketing that resonates with customers’ core values could supercharge engagement and reduce the need for expensive advertisements.
Forget glossy ads that prioritise style over substance – it’s time to consider what customers really want!
4. Most employees want to work towards an ethical cause
As well as satisfying the ethical concerns of your customers, you must consider employees’ feelings.
According to recent stats, 93% of employees believe that businesses should lead with a positive purpose. Over 40% are considering leaving their jobs as their employers are failing to address vital social justice issues.
If your brand fails to promote progressive social values and leave a positive mark on the world, you could see high employee turnover rates, low morale, and poor levels of productivity.
So, how can you polish your brand image and encourage the best and brightest to work for your company?
- Are you doing enough to promote diversity in the workforce? Research shows that over 40% of companies with diverse boards attract higher profits. Diverse companies enjoy cash flow rates over two times higher per employee than less demographically homogenous companies.
- Give employees a say over the trajectory of the business and the shape of your brand image. Are there any causes they would particularly like to donate money towards? Do they have any fresh ideas about how to make your business operations more ethical? Involving employees in the process will ensure they feel valued and prevent talent from drifting towards other companies.
5. Social impact marketing helps businesses stand out from competitors
Let’s face it – most industries are saturated with hundreds or even thousands of businesses competing for the same limited pool of customers. If you want to drive healthy profits and stay in business for many years to come you’ll need to demonstrate to customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile.
- Customers are much more interested in finding brands that they can trust and will help solve some of the world’s many problems.
- In this way, it’s never been more important to prioritise social impact in your brand and marketing drives.
6. Social impact branding can help businesses avoid “cancellation”
All demographics are becoming increasingly concerned about the social impact of their consumption habits. Particularly, young people are particularly devoted to social justice and ethical business practices.
As we explored in a previous article, Gen Z is more racially diverse, politically active, and concerned about climate change than any other generation. What’s more, their spending power is growing rapidly, with many Gen Zers entering the labour market and earning their own disposable income.
With this in mind, failure to keep up with current socially liberal trends could make your brand look outdated or – even worse – lead to “cancellation”. With people spending more time on social media platforms than ever before, news of brands’ less-than-ethical practices can spread in a matter of minutes.
What went wrong?
- L’Oréal Paris, which sparked controversy after firing Black transgender model Munroe Bergdorf for posting an anti-racist message on Facebook.
- Dairy alternative brand Oatly, which was criticised for accepting $200 million of funding from an investment group involved with deforestation.
While these slips-ups may seem particularly egregious, they’re a stark reminder that every brand needs to establish a comprehensive social impact plan and stick to it.
You’d be surprised how easily mistakes are made, particularly if communication between colleagues is poor and infrequent.
Ace your new brand strategy with Views for Change
Okay, so now you know why building a socially conscious brand is vital in today’s political and economic landscape. But how should you go about implementing an effective brand strategy, particularly if you’re short of time and manpower? Well, we’ve got the perfect solution – Views for Change’s ethical marketing platform.
Integrate & attribute donations into your marketing channels & create customer experiences to celebrate your impact!
Social impact but make it exciting!
- Integrate your marketing channels and attribute donations to actions and events your users take in your marketing funnel. Generate social impact in lockstep with performance.
- Create and connect exciting customer experiences to communicate and celebrate your impact with your customers. Added customer delight with impact.
- Easily show the world you’re doing marketing for good with our impact toolkit – designed to celebrate and showcase the impact you’re having.
Join our impact community through this link https://viewsforchange.com/impact-community/ to engage with brands and agencies with similar values or to learn a bit more about us!