An industry brief recently published by Loyalty 360—Corporate Social Responsibility: Making a Difference for Customer Relationships —is an insightful read about customer preferences toward companies that incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices into their business.
The brief shares insights from industry leaders, including our very own Lenati Principal, Marc Steiner. Steiner shares some of the challenges regarding CSR efforts, including the varied use and meaning of CSR itself, “What CSR should mean and how it’s used in practice I think differ. CSR generally represents an expectation that companies think beyond the responsibility to their shareholders and customers…This narrows to expectations about a company’s responsibility to – at best – make the world a better place and – at a minimum – mitigate the environmental, economic and/or social impact directly (or indirectly) as a result of a company’s existence.”
Additionally, the article highlights other companies’ CSR efforts, including Starbucks’ Community Stores support for community initiatives in education, health, housing and more. Or how retailer Patagonia’s Common Threads program encourages their customers to consume less, repair and recycle outdoor gear. These are only some of the examples cited for how companies are thinking beyond the responsibilities to their shareholders and customers.
It’s becoming more evident that CSR done well means inserting CSR into the company’s core brand promise. CSR is becoming necessary as Millennials expect companies to incorporate social responsibility in all of their business efforts. And as a result, Millennials will show their support with stronger brand loyalty and greater spend.
Take a minute to read the industry brief on Loyalty360.org and let us know what you think. In the meantime, stay tuned for more conversations about CSR and customer loyalty.