The following is an excerpt from the article 8 benefits to being a socially responsible brand, written by Zack Rosenberg and published on SmartBlog on Leadership. Rosenberg brings up some great points that your store should take under consideration. Consumers are looking for brands with a social mission and many college stores already have one, as a portion (if not all!) of their revenue is reinvested back into the institution. If that's the case at your store, be sure to let that point shine in your marketing efforts. Take a look at several reasons why it's so important below, then view the full article for more information.
How do we as business leaders distinguish ourselves? The key is to understand how our brands can provide solutions to problems as well as to communities (our own or others). Here are several reasons that business leaders who incorporate social responsibility into their business models will survive and thrive.
- Social responsibility is great for business. If the only focus on is the bottom line (and it shouldn’t be), there will be missed opportunities and revenue streams. Over a 15-year period, businesses with a social mission perform 10.5 to 1 over their competitors. This is according to John Mackey’s (co-founder of Whole Foods) book, “Conscious Capitalism.”
- What drives consumers to purchase isn’t adverting per se but the belief that their action has a positive reaction. Does this mean that they are willing to pay more? According to Nielsen, yes: on average, 20% more than for a similar brand without a social mission. It’s why we are willing to pay $5 or more for Starbucks when Dunkin’ Donuts offers coffee at a fraction of the price.
- Here are two more tangible ways that social responsibility drives ROI. The average social business spends 2% of its revenue on advertising. That’s compared to 20% for traditional businesses. I highlight this point in my SmartBlogs article on StorySelling.
- StorySelling is the idea that because of your purchase, amazing things are possible — and not just for the shareholders. Your purchase is directly linked to a tangible, positive result. Perhaps it’s providing medicine or building schools. My actions cause a positive reaction. Your impact is tangible. According to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, this also results in 10% to 15% more purchasing from existing customers. As we know, it’s much cheaper to acquire an existing customer than a new customer. Why not make it even more desirable that they work with you?
Whole Foods is another amazing example. Their belief in the quality of what we eat is being ineffectively copied by hundreds of competitors. You can’t match what your organization doesn’t understand. Fundamentally, purpose is instilled in every aspect of what they do — from the sourcing to the display. And, Whole Foods has some of the highest margins in the grocery business.
Finding your purpose is what makes you a leader. Think about your community, your constituents or ask your employees. Inspiration will overwhelm and actions will be met with positive ROI.
Provide your customers with a euphoria that can’t be bought!