“Consumers know that brands have the power to effect real change, and they will place their trust in brands that use that power on their behalf.” – Richard Edelman
That quote is taken from the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report. And it’s a prominent feature in our new report, Positive Social Impact Marketing: A Dummy’s Guide
. We included it because it sums up the message we try to get across when talking to brands and marketers about social impact: consumers want to support brands that match their ideals.
In its Rise of Mass Personalisation report
, Deloitte says: “In the era of all things digital, consumers have higher expectations: they want their interactions with businesses and the products and services they buy from them to be personalised.” Personalised marketing—tailoring social media ads, emails and web pages—has brought brands and consumers closer together. Brands know a lot more about their customers and customers know a lot more about brands. And knowledge is power.
Brands know that they have to meet customer expectations and customers understand the power that they hold over brands. Customers may or may not know that it costs five times more
for a brand to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, but they understand the impact that calling out a brand publicly or joining a boycott can have on a brand’s reputation and bottom line.
So trust is everything. If a customer loses trust in the brand, they can easily find another brand to fill the void. But if a brand loses a customer, it’s going to have to work harder and spend more money to replace them.
Earning and maintaining the trust of a customer comes from offering a great product or service and providing good customer care. It also comes from a brand’s purpose: the reason a brand exists beyond making money.
This is where social impact comes in.
Because customers know more about the brands they do business with, they’re clued up on things like purpose and care about it. Conscious consumers(which is what we’ve become as a result of knowing more so much about the brands we do business with) don’t care about profits. They care about the moral, social and ethical reasons for a brand existing.
A recent study by Accenture
showed that 69% of buying decisions are influenced by brands’ ethical values and authenticity and 72% of people buy goods and services from companies with beliefs similar to theirs. Another study by Triodos Bank
revealed that 49% of people under 24 have avoided a product or service due to its negative environmental impact. Those stats make sense.
In the face of climate change and the fall out of a coronavirus pandemic that’s changed how we live and think about the world, why support a brand financially that isn’t doing their bit to improve the situation we’re in?
As a customer, why spend your hard-earned money on a brand that doesn’t agree with your social and environmental values?
On the flip side, why work for a company that doesn’t agree with your social and environmental values when how that company operates can make a real difference to people and the planet?
These are the issues people think about when choosing whether to associate with a brand; with your brand.
Social impact is about doing the right thing. It’s about addressing social challenges. And it’s about future-proofing your business for the good of society and the environment. Social impact marketing is about showing the good that you do to the world.
The Positive Social Impact report
is a guide to get you thinking about, or building on, your social impact marketing strategy so that you can use your power to effect real change and earn the trust of customers.