Giving Back – More than a Marketing Strategy

I’m fairly simple minded when it comes to business.  I believe justice ultimately prevails and inevitably companies reap what they sow.

So when people insert hidden fees, fail to be transparent in their pricing, or grab for more than what they deserve I assume those behaviors will ultimately be their undoing.  Similarly, I contend that people who consistently do the “right” things for the “right” reasons will have sustainable business success.

A recent Nielsen survey tends to validate the positive impact that comes from socially conscious behavior.  However, it also suggests that doing good does not affect all consumers equally.  Specifically, the research indicates:

“that the majority of consumers express a general preference for companies making a positive difference in the world. 66% of consumers around the world say they prefer to buy products and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society. That preference extends to other matters as well. They prefer to work for or invest in these companies. A smaller share, but still nearly half, say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from these socially conscious companies.”

As you might guess the group most concerned about socially responsible business practices are individuals under the age of 40 with 51% of consumer between 15 and 39 saying they will pay extra to do business with a socially conscious company (compared to 37% for individuals over 40).  The Nielsen researchers go on to note that “socially-conscious consumers are more likely than consumers overall to trust ads found on social networks and they were also more likely than total respondents (59% vs. 46%) to say they use social media when making a purchase decision.”

It is helpful to have empirical data to support the monetizable and trust benefits of doing the right thing.  It is also beneficial to know how young, technologically savvy consumers value social responsibility.  However, even if “giving back” couldn’t be proven to be profitable, isn’t it still be the right thing to do for your staff, your customers and your community?

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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