Consumers are showing more and more interest in businesses that are ethically, socially and environmentally responsible. But how do you maximise your ethical activities to build relationships with your customers?
Brand recognition, media coverage, and improved reputation
One of the main benefits of increasing your ethical activities is a more unique space when drawing attention to your products.
To make the most of this, talk about what you are doing as much as possible. Use it in your marketing materials and website.
You can also mention the projects and organisations you've supported on social media and ask them to talk about you too.
Increased customer engagement and loyalty
Consumers who identify with a company's ethical focus are less sensitive to price increases and tend to be more loyal as they have something that connects them to your organisation beyond just your product.
Include your ethical activities in your customer newsletter or on your communication signature picker. You can take this further by encouraging them to get involved, such as donating during the festive period or inviting them to activities.
Quality of staff talent and retention
Staff are more likely to be more productive and stay in an organisation longer if they feel that they are also contributing to a social cause.
Make sure you communicate the activities your business is taking part in regularly. Encourage staff to get involved where appropriate and ask staff for ideas of how the organisation can be more ethical or environmental.
By being more communicative with business activities, new opportunities are likely to appear. Alongside new customers and cross-promotion, there may be new markets to explore.
There are a surprising number of examples where new income has been generated by being a more ethically thinking organisation.
Actively promoting your support of a cause or ethical purchase sets you apart from your competitors and gives you access to new customers who may not have heard of you before.
Financial performance and sales
Research from the London Business School found a positive link between financial performance and social responsibility, both in the short and long term.
So when you're busy running a business, how do you find ways to buy ethically? There are more ways than you think.
However you become a more responsible business, remember to assess risks and make sure you do what you say you'll do.
And finally, the key point is show don't tell. Spread the word about the impact you are making and be proud!
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