Corporate Responsibility: The Ultimate Business-as-Usual Disruptor
November 5th 2015
In a recent piece published in the philanthropic thought leader bible Proinspire, Care2 CEO Randy Paynter poses an important question “Can an organization [or brand] turn a profit and do Good concurrently?” At Mfa, across our multiple practices, we increasingly see our nonprofit partners secure larger and more meaningful corporate sponsors and our for-profit brands seeking to amplify awareness for their ‘give back’ programs. The trend is clear: businesses are no longer focusing solely on profits, but are also looking towards the pursuit of good to thrive in today’s consumer climate.
As the millennial generation (along with its propensity to support organizations that give back – more on that shortly) grows in spending power and market share, from a best practices standpoint, a company may no longer ignore its employees, customers or social environment. A business that neglects these key stakeholders often receives traditional and social media backlash that can change the news cycle or even damage brand reputation, as we’ve seen with the recent Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.
As it turns out, a major factor in this is the millennial consumer philosophy. Studies show that this demographic’s brand loyalty resides within corporate social responsibility. According to the 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study, nine-in-10 millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause and two-thirds use social media to engage around CSR. As a result, media and both non- and for- profit brands are wooing this generation with programs centered around social good.
For example, leading global tech media company Mashable is looking to truly ‘redefine storytelling’ for the digital generation, and is doing so in meaningful ways. Tapping into the cause-oriented consumer philosophy, Mashable partnered with the United Nations to host the annual Social Good Summit. As Mfa witnessed this year, celebrities in multiple spheres (entertainment, healthcare, government, business, and social media) convened to discuss solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Coverage of the summit was streamed lived, featured in multiple stories on Mashable, and social media posts cemented Mashable as a cause-minded organization.
Significantly, the summit also served as the bookend of a weekend filled with cause-marketing events. Prior to the Social Good Summit, nonprofit Global Citizens and MSNBC hosted the mega-popular Global Citizens Festival in Central Park, gathering tens of thousands of cause-oriented fans to enjoy music from Beyonce and Coldplay while also rallying them to make a meaningful difference in the world.
As we move into the critical end-of-year giving time for many nonprofits, including #GivingTuesday, it is important for all corporations and major brands to understand the following, and to act not only accordingly but also swiftly: Consumers, more than ever before, are spending money with brands that reflect their values, and are essentially pulling corporations in the direction of authenticity and responsibility.
Agency note: At Mfa, we’re working through many of our clients and our own giving initiatives to support the UN Sustainable Development #GlobalGoals. Will you join us?
Image Source: https://www.globalcitizen.org/
MFAction is our social good division. Rooted in the philosophy that every action matters, our social action team handles cause marketing and corporate social responsibility for both non and for profit organizations. Learn more here: http://mfaltd.com/what-we-do/