What is Corporate Social Responsibility.
Small to medium and even many large corporations have little clue of what really being an ethically and socially responsible company really entails. The vast majority feel making a profit following the different laws and rules from federal to municipal level is what they have to abide by and that’s what it really is.
Like in the past simply selling a good product or delivering a great service is not what today’s societal conscious consumers are looking for from a company. Majority of them care more than just about the quality of the product being delivered by the company. They care more about what companies support in terms of values and beliefs, how they go about producing and selling their merchandise as well as the impact they are having on the ecological environment and whether or not all of this is sustainable in the long term for our planet.
So in simple words Corporate social responsibility is a way for companies to conduct business by taking responsibility for the social and environmental impact their operations are having on society and the planet. It is essentially about making the ethically and morally correct choices.
The above definition implies that businesses need to take a close look at CSR from an employees perspective as well for present and future generations of employers are seeking out employers that are focused on the triple bottom line; people, profits and the planet. In the past referred to as the Societal business concept, doing business to make profits in an ethical, sustainable and socially responsible manner, keeping both employees as well as society’s welfare at heart.
A staggering 90 percent of shoppers would not only switch brands if they found that a company was engaging in irresponsible business practices they would also trust and be loyal to socially responsible businesses adopting their products provided they supported a good cause and were of similar price and quality. CSR is important not only for large corporations but also for growing numbers of small to medium sized businesses that make up 99 percent of all businesses making them massive in job creation as well as GDP contribution to our economy.
Many Businesses are now jumping onto the CSR bandwagon without realization of its true meaning or whether it is the ideal time for them to do so in their current circumstances. Their motivation mainly being driven by consumers greater awareness of social, ethical and sustainability issues. They fail to realize that a forced application for a need to keep up appearances, and appear ethical and responsible to consumers could actually cause more harm. First and foremost they need to be successful in their endeavors and operations in business instead of trying to use CSR as a crutch to prop up failing brands and services looking good in the eye of the consumer which would really be a short sighted strategy not succeeding beyond the short run.
What are some examples of CSR activities.
CSR can be practiced in all parts of the firms micro environment — marketing, production, human resources, finance, supply chain, consumer and public relations etc. Some real examples could be for the company partnering with firms following ethical practices and may support charitable causes in their communities and promote equal opportunities for men, women and minorities and investing in their development.
Is CSR good marketing strategy.
Research indicates that 51%of consumers would support socially responsible companies with their business with 53% responding they would actually pay a premium for their products. So definitely companies practicing CSR could make it an integral part of their marketing and messaging strategy, merging CSR with marketing strategy.