The Business Case for doing good

Koen Wijffelaars
Co-Founder - Design Strategist

Did you know that companies that do good for people and planet, financially outperform those that don’t in the long run? Not only that, but according to marketing guru Philip Kotler, these types of companies end up spending much less money on marketing and have higher customer satisfaction and retention.  

Surprised? It actually makes a lot of sense for one very important reason: consumers really, really want you to do good.

87% of consumers believe that businesses need to place equal weight on society’s interests as on business interests*
*Edelman Goodpurpose® Study 2012

The role of the consumer brand has changed radically over the years, consumers expect much higher standards of ethical conduct from organisations and they expect them to be transparent about it. People are increasingly looking for brands that align with their values and are changing their consumer behavior based on the ‘good’ a company does for society.

According to a global consumer survey of over 10,000 consumers by Cone Communications and Echo Research (2013), 91% of consumers state they are willing to switch brands to the ones that are associated with a good cause, if price and quality are similar.

Furthermore, 94% of consumers say they have more loyalty to companies that communicate their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and 85% states they are more likely to recommended these companies to friends and family.

Sounds great, now what?

Of course these percentages sound great, but keep in mind that it’s important to think about how to translate this data into actual real world action for your organisation. Doing good for society and using it in your communication is not a magic tool you can simply use once in awhile to uplift your brand. As a matter of fact, if done poorly, it can even damage your brand with the risk of being accused of green or pinkwashing.

To avoid these risks and to make sure you organisation benefits from making a positive change, it is essential that the societal impact you make fits intimately with your brand. The more it permeates the core of your business, the more beneficial it will be for your organisation, your consumers and your employees.

And that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing in our next series of posts; we’ll dive deeper into these data sets and discuss the best practices of doing good in a way that effectively uplifts your brand.

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