Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is standard practice for most business. No matter what the size, there is an expectation that businesses do the right thing – from helping those in need to tackling issues that will make the world a better place. This expectation is almost becoming a demand, watched closely by all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers and regulators/governments.
Linking CSR programs to your brand has many benefits – not just by adding value to your business but by also strengthening the benefits your CSR programs deliver.
The power of brand. Great brands have codes that imprint deeply within our minds. Branding is at the core of the work we do. The AMBA system builds in, what we call, Moments, Memories & Membership and CSR comfortably extends mental associations that add to recall and recognition.
- Moments – all interactions with any brand or product start with quick interactions. It could be an ad, a social media post, a conversation or mention. Human attention span is short – Moments build reach and start engagement.
- Memories – the human mind stores information cleverly. Sometimes contextual, always via associations with other stimuli. Deep links make information easier to recall. Triggering memories and links is the way that branding ultimately works.
- Membership – is all about connecting to the UX or customer experience. It’s when your consumer has decided that your brand is for them. They may be an advocate or just an open supporter – Membership is when they are ready to share your brand with someone new.
How CSR can benefit the brand.
CSR helps humanise your brand by adding to memory structures that link your brand to important issues – this could be anything from sustainability, community support, environmental awareness to mental health.
Business growth comes by finding new customers. CSR programs help build reach and familiarity – in the same way, that an advertising campaign might although, typically, with a higher level of authenticity and emotional engagement.
The same can be said for the activities supported by your CSR program. Awareness lifts, actions occur that impact others positively, and problems may be solved.
What to avoid.
There is a potential downside if the only brand activity is via a CSR program. Media and public backlash become harsh if things go awry. An example of this is when an Oil company created programs geared towards the environment. One spill and the positives became negatives. This can happen when the business strategy is not fundamentally aligned with CSR and the brand.
Branding through CSR should be treated as a happy coincidence; a momentary alignment where branding goals are touched upon while purposefully — and genuinely — executing the CSR initiative for the initiative’s sake.
CSR benefits everyone, Reach remains the priority, sales are the goal and happy customers are the primary objective.
CSR is just one part of a giant 3D marketing puzzle. It’s complex. Talk with us and let us guide you on how to fit the pieces together to create a true competitive advantage.
AMBA is a marketing agency that maximises the impact of brand in advertising. We’re based in Australia but connect with people everywhere. We consult on strategy, using your data to understand your customer’s experience and execute campaigns that deliver strong commercial results. – Find out more.