Eyes tend to roll when the term “socially conscious” is thrown into the mix, but that is usually because entrepreneurs see it as another responsibility to add to the ever-growing list. However, social responsibility is also a great marketing tool and one that helps build lasting relationships with your community. How so? Simple. People don’t just buy from brands with good products anymore, they buy from bounds that have a good cause behind them; those that do positive work with the environment in mind.
The tricky part is knowing where to start, especially if you are new to this whole socially responsible thing, or even this whole business thing, as a lot of startup entrepreneurs are. To help you with this, we have pulled together a list of ways you can make social responsibility a part of your branding as you move into 2018.
The Mission Report
Every business has a mission, ethos and/or vision for the future statement on their website, but there is definitely reason to add a fourth one to that list – your cause. The trick is to be specific. Anything that falls into the category of vague won’t make an impact. If your social responsibility mission is vague, you won’t be able to build a strategy around it. Instead, look at how you can make a direct impact on the world around you. It doesn’t have to be complex; it could be as simple as “Keeping Our Rivers Safe”.
Have Attainable Targets
Once the mission is in place, you need to start planning how your company will achieve the help you have mentioned. Don’t just have one, have a few that you can hit in the coming months, the kind that will have an impact without impacting on your day-to-day operations. Sticking to the water theme, it could be raising money to buy oil stop valves for your local reservoirs and rivers, hosting a charity bike ride to raise money for local wildlife foundations or anything that easily translates into your business. So long as your success can be measured, you can move forward in producing solutions for issues in your area.
Set-Up An In-House Team
In order to make this mission a success, you will need to have a designated team that is responsible for coming up with ways to have a positive impact on your local community. This team should be made up of people that want to be part of it which, typically, means millennials. You want people that are passionate about assisting others, those that want a purpose higher than just working a 9-5, those that can deliver actionable results and people you trust to raise awareness both inside your company and publicly. Educating people is going to be a crucial part of this mission otherwise it won’t have the desired result.
Contribute What You Can
The more direct your social responsibility the better, which is why you should make philanthropy a big part of it. Donate money, raise money, offer your resources to local charities in order to help them make a difference, develop a product to raise awareness whereby 100% of the profits go to charity, or just set up small fundraising events. All of these will show you support worthwhile causes, and people will get behind that.