Embracing The Human Element: How Modern Businesses Can Commit To Corporate Social Responsibility
For every business, each passing year poses the question, “How can we stay relevant to rising trends and expectations?” In the modern world, businesses that want to stay on top should aspire for constant evolution. This means seeing growth as more than just a number and understanding the value of being a socially responsible business that interacts with people and communities in a meaningful way.
Now more than ever, the traditional understanding of what makes for “good” business has been challenged. The contemporary understanding attaches social value to businesses, and it is time to catch up with this rising trend. Businesses that focus on being socially responsible are having more success and seeing greater profit sustainability.
It starts with defining your business values.
How can you define your values as a business?
In order to figure out to what values your company should attach itself and to what causes it should commit, it is important to have a thorough knowledge of your consumer base. Leverage market research, understand the trends your target audience is lining behind and assess what they care about. This step is crucial for a business that wants to venture forth with a cause. When people see that your brand is standing with them and cares about the same problems, it creates a human link between them and your business.
The movement for equality within the United States is something that has risen as an integral issue within the socio-political fabric of our society. As a business, we value this and public accessibility to services. That’s why, in our own endeavors, TekRevol partnered up with the Police and Parenting Program (Papp) to help the Baltimore community and its youth bridge the gap between law enforcement agencies through the use of technology. With the goal of creating a safer and more united Baltimore, we listened to citizens and provided necessary tools to improve the community.
The next step is to take those values and create avenues for change and impact in the real world — something that can be seen and experienced by society, as we did in the Baltimore community. This people-oriented approach is what allows you to convey the values of your business. Just remember to stay true to them, or you will lose consumer trust. If you stay true to your values, your business will become more human than ever.
Why do businesses struggle with profit sustainability?
In my experience, businesses that struggle with profit sustainability often face one key issue: a lack of returning customers due to a mechanical relationship with their audiences. Sustainability is about making sure the customer relationships you build never go out of style. When you market a product, you market its qualities and unique value proposition. Understanding the difference between marketing your product and marketing your brand is crucial. While marketing products creates a short-term possibility for profit, marketing your brand ensures customer retention in the long run. This is how you create a sustainable business.
To become more sustainable, brands should define their corporate social responsibility (CSR) based on the voices of their customer base; this includes their social media activity. While CSR is generally viewed as giving back to the community, it is important for businesses to leverage research data to identify what specific values their customer base is most passionate about. With this information, businesses can assign specific values to the broader social responsibility of community care. Remember, community input is important. You can organize trending social topics to encourage customer engagement and guide your CSR.
People come back to the places where they feel most valued. This is where your “corporate social responsibility” plays a key role in ensuring long-term success. When people can see that your brand is one that cares about the lives of those to whom you provide service, they come back. Now, you’re more than just a business selling a product — you’re someone with whom they feel ideologically associated.
To effectively create such an effect, look to partner with local organizations or even prominent celebrities who are on the front lines fighting for change within your communities. Working with NGOs or using promotional events to celebrate these causes can create real-world impact. This is also a great way to get the word out to the people regarding your company’s social initiatives.
When popular figures are associated with your initiatives, you can bring a lot of public attention to your brand and its values as a result of their following. With this attention comes the opportunity to build long-term customer relationships as increased popularity pushes your brand into the “trending” space.
What is the modern formula for successful businesses?
In my experience, businesses that attach themselves to social causes garner long-term customer loyalty and increased brand awareness. In a competitive market in which multiple businesses provide the same services, your business needs to offer more than just a quality product.
For companies, the formula is simple. If your company is putting itself out there for a cause, people are bound to use social media to talk about it. If your campaigns and advertisements can initiate, add to or guide a conversation on social media regarding a social concern, it will help you gain insight into the effectiveness of your branding in regards to your values and the traction they bring. As your unique value proposition, be a voice for change in your community.
About the Author
Cofounder and CMO of TekRevol, Abeer Raza is an avid business strategist with a relentless passion for developing new skills, scaling businesses, and creating a meaningful impact in people’s lives through emerging technologies. He is best known for implementing a people-first approach in business, and his mad skills in chess, WarCraft and Sid Meier’s Civilization.
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