Corporate responsibility has become more and more important in recent years, it’s not enough just to have a good product anymore. People want to know how the company they are purchasing from is going to use that money. Does the company pay a fair wage and abide by labor laws? Does a portion of proceeds go to charitable organizations? Does the company do their part to protect the environment? A Nielsen global online survey done in 2015 found that people were also willing to pay MORE for items made my socially conscious companies. It also showed that companies with a proven commitment to environmental sustainability grew over 4%, while companies that did not grew only 1%.
Some key purchasing incentives that the survey found were:
- Environmentally friendly packaging
- The product is made from natural or organic materials or ingredients
- The company gives back to the community
- The product is known for it’s health benefits
- The brand is trustworthy.
Now, that last one is tricky. How does one create a brand that consumers view as trustworthy? And how do you maintain brand integrity in a corporate world?
Building a brand can be tough, but there are a few things that you can do that will build brand trust and keep consumers coming back.
- Live up to your promises. Do not over-promise and under-deliver.
- Consider hiring sales associates on salary or fair hourly rates instead of commission, this creates transparency between the customer and the sales personnel, so the customer does not feel as if they are being lied to just to increase an associate’s numbers.
- Collaborate with brands that also have good reputations. Everyone loves a good collaboration. For example, when H&M Collaborated with Olivier Rousteing for a more-affordable Balmain inspired line, it sold out in hours of hitting stores. Target has done similar design collaborations on home goods and they are always a hit.
- Have a consistent product. Make sure that your quality control is putting out the same product each and every time.
- Take responsibility. Mistakes happen, and owning up to them and correcting them will actually help your brand come off as trustworthy. Take Toyota for example, in one year they had to recall numerous parts in their vehicles but instead of excuses Toyota came with apologies and the brand didn’t suffer any long-term damage from the mistake.