In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of small companies being created in the name of social responsibility.
Having a social responsibility is refreshing to hear about during a time of ethics scandals and ocean pollution. But even if you’re not an obvious ‘green company’ or ‘ethical company’. There are things your business can do to show your values and win some of the customers that want more out of the brands that they interact with.
Consumers (particularly millennials) are caring a lot more about the messages behind the brands that speak to them, and are happy to spend more for a company that has values matching their own. More and more attention is being paid to the smaller, personal companies whose morals stand out amongst their huge corporate competition. So how can small businesses make the most of this opportunity and showcase their social responsibility?
What makes you different from a big competitor?
In a time of fake news, scandals and scrutiny, you may find that your company becomes a refreshing change. If you’re a competitor of a much larger and well-known company, shout about what makes you different (without condemning your competitor!). Small businesses are often able to have more control over certain aspects of the business that they believe are important, like sourcing only organic products, using local suppliers for a smaller carbon footprint, or donating part of every purchase to a charity. If you know that your existing customers choose you due to your social credentials, make it known and express to them how their custom is positively benefitting your causes. The lure of lower prices will always be lurking in the background, so make sure your customers are reminded why they chose you and how grateful you are for that.
If you’re a green company, you may want to show much water your company saves compared to the average in the industry, or if you’re giving back to the community somehow like sponsoring a local event or donating to a worthy cause, make those numbers shout loud and clear – you might like to use visualisations like infographics if necessary to get your point across in a way that your customers can understand. Stats give your actions credibility; it’s easy to say you are involved in social responsibility for the sake of marketing, so stats can help to bring claims to life with numbers. But beware: if your stats and statements aren’t genuine, you could walking on thin ice.
Use your blog or About Me page
Even if your business isn’t directly related to social responsibility, you might practice these beliefs behind closed doors. Instead of keeping it a secret, you could have an ‘About Us’ page or blog that talks about company activities and general information. If you’ve got an employee running a marathon for a worthy cause or a new maternity leave policy, you might want to show your pride with a blog post. If you have a team page on your website, you could ask your employees to say why they enjoy working for your small business to be featured alongside their name and contact details. You’ll be surprised how a company with social responsibility at its core affects its employees and customers so positively. If you’ve won any awards for your green credentials, make sure your customers can see that!
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