The corporate awakening: CSR in 2022
A company is nothing without its customer base. In today’s economic climate, the majority of consumers have evolved beyond the product they're buying. What they value from a brand is clear: 70% of consumers want to purchase from brands that address social and environmental issues and are committed to making the world a better place. These statistics also carry over to employees, showing that over 70% believe the company they work for must lead with a greater purpose. This is a shift from an older generation that believed social responsibility came down to the individual or government. Younger generations acknowledge that corporations have the power in today’s society, so they expect them to carry a greater responsibility, too. How are brands responding to this challenge? They’re determining their core values and incorporating this into business.
Here are three brands that are flourishing in the new standard of corporate social responsibility (CSR):
Launching in 2017, Patagonia has incorporated CSR into the fabric of its company. Starting with Fair Trade Certification, Patagonia's covered a multitude of issues, from social justice to reducing carbon footprints. Today, this brand is still holding true to its mission to create a positive benefit for any lives touched through the business.
LEGO has worked to reducing its carbon footprint since 2013, and since 2017, its production has been 100% balanced by renewable energy. Leading by example in creativity and innovation, this directly aligns with LEGO's brand mission to inspire the children of today to become the builders of tomorrow. Today, the company continues to go above and beyond to provide additional renewable energy for those in need around the globe.
Integrated into the mission of its business, Ben & Jerry’s believes businesses have a responsibility and opportunity to change the world. Supporting movements for racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, campaign finance reform and more, the company understands that business can be a tool for systematic progress within our own communities.
At the end of the day, it’s all about value. How does a brand distribute, display and provide value? It aligns with its consumer base and answers their needs. With this shift in industry, it’s clear that the majority of customers need to know several key factors when they purchase a product: what they're supporting, whether anyone is being harmed and whether they're giving back to the community. Answering these questions will give a strong sense of how well developed a brand is—and provide greater alignment when doing business.
If you're looking to better demonstrate your own core values or embolden your own brand CSR initiative, contact our research team today.
Josh Smith is DS+CO’s content and SEO manager, building digital information strategies to reach the right people the right way.