When branding your business, it’s important to consider all aspects of marketing. Businesses should utilise their marketing and branding strategies effectively to promote not only their business but also the values that the business holds true to.
In a socially conscious world, consumers are moving towards businesses whose business values align with their own moral, social, and environmental values. Effective marketing and branding strategies are often used by businesses to promote their image, boost their reputation, convey a specific message to their customers or impart their values.
Social branding is no different to most marketing campaigns – it simply conveys the business’ commitment to social and environmental responsibility, and creates visibility and transparency around how they are doing so. Social-cause branding as it is also known is furthered by the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept that began to emerge over the past decade, where a company, business, or organisation markets with or alongside morally or socially just causes to promote their support and remain relevant in a constantly changing world.
Incorporating Corporate social responsibility into a business does not have to start at a global or macro level. Businesses can address their social, ethical, and environmental responsibility by beginning with their local community or smaller causes. This can be a more effective strategy for smaller businesses.
Social branding driven by corporate responsibility can be engaged by businesses for strategic or ethical purposes. It can aid in adding to a business’s profitability and relatability to its shareholders, as well as promote positive and negative outcomes of their endeavours from this engagement. It also addresses the loyalty of a customer base, as shared business values and personal values for a customer may result in a more stable consumer base beyond what was initially forecast. If your business is not seen as socially or ethically conscious, it can attract negative feedback and impact your business reputation.
Some notable examples of the ways in which corporate social responsibility is expressed by businesses include fair trade coffee beans, Pride Month branding of products, recycling resources to repurpose for other goods (e.g. recycled paper cups).
Here are a few tips on how to adjust your marketing strategy to reflect your business’ diverse social branding, and show your consumers that you are in alignment with their values:
If you are a local business, showing support to identified causes that are relevant to your community can kindle a sense of belonging and solidarity towards the community.
By increasing the visibility of your business’s corporate social responsibility, you are more likely to engage with consumers beyond your initial target. Consider what best suits your business’ products when it comes to championing a cause to support. Your messaging is impacted by how your product is seen and conveyed and choosing an improper way to relate to a cause will minimise the effect it could otherwise have had.
Corporate social responsibility could be as simple as being against domestic violence and supporting local charities, using your position as a corporate body to promote this message in your sponsoring of, for example, sports teams, or donating to worthy causes to gain recognition of the good deed.
As a business, consider your marketing strategy and whether or not you should address causes in your branding. Can you use it effectively? And if so, how? Discuss with your marketing manager or team whether or not this could be a viable plan for your business potential to be maximised.