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A Brand’s Place In Public Dialogue

A socially responsible approach in your business: the most important and impactful social media trend predicted for 2021. Calling it a ‘trend’ in itself is strange – but desperate times, desperate measures.

For far too many years, brands have been functioning in a form of capitalism that is profit-oriented, cold, and cut-throat. The main focus has always been to grow the brand monetarily and in the public consciousness – paying no heed to the consequences. Polluting the environment, increasing the wage gap, ignoring the working conditions of employees – all’s fair if it means the brand is growing, right?

Not anymore.

60% of the respondents in Deloitte’s annual survey of Millennials and Gen Z plan to buy more products and services from large brands that have ensured the safety of their workforces and positively affected society in some way, during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a rise in socially conscious audiences, and a PR-driven Corporate Social Responsibility campaign will not make the cut anymore.

The youth today is looking for brands that consistently engage in Conscious Capitalism – building a successful business while making a sustainable, positive change to the world. According to the Talkwalker Social Media Trends (2021) report, companies that fail to shift their focus towards matters of mental health, inclusivity, and social justice risk becoming irrelevant and obsolete by 2021. Consumers are actively paying attention to brand activities – and are supporting those that back their values with action.

Although the demand for conscious capitalism has existed for a long time, the COVID-19 pandemic, rising instances of racial inequality, global economic crises, and the multitude of natural disasters in 2020 have made this demand stronger than ever. I know the question that is on your mind, though:

 

Does conscious capitalism work?

Yes! In fact, it is fantastic for business.

Raj Sisodia, a founding member of the Conscious Capitalism movement, conducted a decade-long research study which proved that companies that adopted and followed conscious capitalism yielded a 1,025% ROI over the 10 years! Some surprising benefits of conscious capitalism that go beyond financial returns include increased trust among stakeholders, a deeper understanding of customers, and decreased employee turnover. It also creates an opportunity for brands to occupy a place in public dialogue – followed by action. This goes far beyond CSR and brand reputation management – it becomes part of the business model.

Socially responsible brands that seek to adopt these principles have a purpose, in the public eye. And isn’t that actually what customers care about?

 

Purpose-Driven Brands Cannot Fake It

Statements made on social media hold no value unless the brand actually backs its claims. Customers today are closely observing brands and can see the naked truth. No matter how much time, energy, and creativity you put into your marketing campaigns – nothing makes as much of a difference as actually making a difference does.

So, when you’re visualizing your 2021 playbook, ask yourself this – are you truly listening to your customers and what they care about? Are you asking the right questions?

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