Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become one of the standard business practices of our time. And it’s more important than ever in 2017 to take action. As consumers become savvy in what they shop, source, buy and consume from day to day, the brands they choose are more significant. Here we look at how Corporate Social Responsibility can be used as a marketing tool, and how this strategy can help to increase brand loyalty over time.
CSR as a Marketing Tool
Many studies and reports have shown that good Corporate Social Responsibility in business can have significant influence on consumer behaviour. With many results indicating that consumers’ perceived legal and ethical responsibilities of brands may improve brand loyalty through enhancing positive functional and symbolic images. And when executed as an integrative framework, the benefits are lasting.
These benefits include:
- Better brand recognition
- A positive business reputation
- Better customer engagement
- Increased media coverage
- Increased sales and repeat sales
These benefits work together to strengthen your brand and over time, you will be able to build loyalty with your end customer.
Brand Campaign Examples
There are many ways to use CSR within your marketing, including various channels. Some of the best recent examples show big brands stepping up with huge investment campaigns.
Coca Cola in particular pumped millions of pounds into their 2017 ‘Love Story’ sustainability campaign. A campaign that is the first of its kind from the global brand, created to promote plastic recycling and to raise awareness of responsible waste disposal.
The film, made by Ogilvy & Mather is designed to connect with today’s eco-conscious customer through multimedia, building trust and loyalty through a shared interest.
Online fashion retailer, Yoox, approached their CSR marketing in a different way. They teamed up with a fashion brand called WE ARE HANDSOME to raise awareness of a shared concern, and to reap the benefits of a pre-competitive partnerships.
(Image source: Yoox)
In a one-off collection, the two brands use their collaborative efforts to target the eco fashion audience, backed with a story of saving the Great Barrier Reef and promising to donate a percentage of all sales to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Whilst the #YOOXLOVESTHEREEF project is a time-limited campaign, the brand loyalty gained will be a lasting effect.
Another fantastic example of great CSR execution in marketing is H&M and their Conscious Collection, designing beautiful pieces out of Bionic Yarn (made from plastic recovered from the sea). In addition to their Conscious Collection, H&M stores worldwide also take part in promoting textile recycling.
In a bid to reduce the amount of fabrics going to landfills, H&M shops offer voucher exchange for bags of unwanted clothing. Effectively using a reward system to boost loyalty amongst every shoppers and eco warriors.