As consumers and employees become more conscious in our connected and transparent world, businesses that do good can leverage their efforts to help their businesses thrive. I’ve conducted interviews and research to understand why companies do good and the benefits they get from doing so.
I broke down the results into 4 categories, which we’ll dive into in this article, then a summary:
There are hard statistics to be aware of in each category to help you understand where social impact plays a role in your startup or small business.
Let’s start with brand.
Brand is crucial in shifting consumer behavior. Customers want to know the companies they support are ethical, responsible, and good for the world. Consumers will happily jump to the next brand in such a competitive consumer goods landscape if they don’t align with your brand’s values.
I had the opportunity to speak with Ben Checketts, Creative Director of Rhone, a luxury athletic apparel brand, just a few months ago.
Ben put it quite simply: marketing is about connecting with customers and building brand loyalty. Without loyalty, your biggest fans will happily jump to the next brand. Social impact and giving back is a great way to build that customer loyalty.
Emily Heyward, CoFounder of Red Antler, explains that today, brand is about values. It’s showing customers you’re aligned with them, their core problem, and the things they care about.
Doing good as a business is a tangible representation of values that more consumers are gravitating towards.
- 56% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from brands that demonstrate a commitment to social value. (Nielsen)
- 80% of Americans are likely to switch brands to one that supports a charity. (CONE Cause Evolution Study)
- Brands perceived as having a high positive impact on people’s lives have grown brand value 2.5 times more than brands with low perceived impact. (Millward Brown)
Remember checking out on that site that asked you to donate a dollar? I get it; sometimes it’s the only thing standing between you and your brand-new pair of shoes. But your online experience will likely keep you coming back to that shop.
The eCommerce space is becoming more saturated as brands look to launch online. It’s important that you prioritize values on your online store as well to keep that competitive advantage.
Moreover, knowing that your purchase contributes to a social cause pushes engaged consumers to convert.
We’ll be highlighting great Shopify donation integrations in a future article – stay tuned!
Lastly, if you’re familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you know that backlinks are super important for your search ranking. Perhaps choosing nonprofit partners who can give backlinks is a strong strategy for SEO.
- Social impact eCommerce donation integrations can increase
- conversion rate by 19%.
- average order value (AOV) by 23%.
- customer lifetime value (LTV) by 18%.
- source: (ShoppingGives)
- Media coverage can generate backlinks and boost SEO (Clickd).
Next up is publicity.
Social impact and charitable giving form newsworthy, heartwarming stories that encourage people to share. Leveraging your social impact to drive publicity and brand awareness is an excellent strategy for a startup or small business looking to increase revenue.
Here are a couple of ways to tap into this core benefit:
- Social media
- Influencer marketing
- Media relations & press coverage
- Product donation
Learn more about these strategies on our publicity page.
- 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. (Nielsen)
- 78% would tell others to buy products from a company with a social mission.
- 65% would advocate for issues that company supports.
- (CONE Communications)
Lastly, employees care. Probably more than any other stakeholder. And to put it bluntly, your social impact campaign's authenticity depends on how bought in your team is on your social impact program.
As far as the employee engagements benefits go for social impact in business, I’ll narrow them down into 3 categories:
That’s right. Doing good in your business can heavily impact each of these categories.
To achieve these benefits, try:
- Embedding your social impact program into the culture of your company
- Taking time off to volunteer as a team
- Creating donation match programs
Now for the numbers.
- Inspired employees produce 225% of those merely satisfied.
- Employee donation matching programs decrease turnover by up to 37%. (HRReporter)
- 75% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. (Sustainable Brands)
The business case for social impact is clear. As a business owner or startup founder, be sure to use this framework and these statistics to leverage your social impact programs for business growth.
As a consultancy, Supur can help you do just that. Learn more about our work and services here!