Why Social Responsibility Matters to Your Brand

Millennials now have the most spending power of any generation. And since they’re the largest in terms of sheer numbers and are now old enough to be in higher-income jobs, it’s imperative to your company’s success to meet what they value.

Among their many differentiating characteristics, they adore brands who embrace social responsibility. Put broadly, “social responsibility” means the brand makes a public phenomenon of showing how it influences society in a positive way.

If your brand doesn’t do this, you lose sales to others who do. It’s that simple.

So here’s an example of several leading brands and how they embrace social responsibility:

1. Gillette’s Embrace of Positive Attitudes Toward Women

Gillette’s always trumpeted it’s “The Best a Man Can Get.” Recently, they released a video supporting the viewpoint that men should act toward women in positive, healthy, attainable, and inclusive ways.

The particular video strongly discourages attitudes which promote sexual harassment, misogyny, and abusive conduct.

2. MUD Jeans

Every corporation engages social responsibility. However, what’s not clear is the extent.

Is that company just trying to improve its image a little, when in fact they have all sorts of ways they’re not even close to socially responsible behind the scenes?

Learning the full story can be hard.

One of the corporations who really knocks social responsibility out of the park (and all throughout its business practices) is Dutch company MUD jeans.

For example, their jeans include post-consumer denim and organically grown cotton (most cotton requires intensive insecticide use). They also ensure all workers throughout their entire manufacturing process get paid fair wages.

3. Starbucks

When you think of Starbucks, besides caffeine, you think of a gem of a socially responsible company.

Back in 1997, they funded a US/Canada literacy campaign. Today, they want to hire 10,000 refugees in 75 countries and 25,000 veterans by 2025.

This, in addition to constantly working to minimize their environmental footprint, makes Starbucks another great all-around example of sustainability.

4. Coca-Cola

Since the creation of its foundation in 1985, Coca-Cola has donated more than $820 million to causes furthering the empowerment of women, improving access to clean drinking water, and the development of disadvantaged youth.

This model makes sense because donating the funds to other organizations who have specialized experience in their various causes are more likely to make an actual difference.

So, how can you make social responsibility not just another thing you do among other business practices, but the very essence of your business itself?

The better you answer that question, the more Millennial customers you attract and keep.