It is no surprise that today’s consumers are concerned about global and social issues. “Giving back” and “doing good” are at the top of their to-do lists, and many companies are responding to those concerns by implementing different corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. However, some companies have misguided motivations and are doing socially responsible initiatives for the wrong reasons.

Rather than building a Culture of Good that transforms the culture of their business, many companies simply staple a CSR program onto the side of the business. This is a failing strategy.

Recently, Business News Daily posted an article on this issue. They quoted a report from the Public Relations Society of America that found CSR efforts are usually implemented because a company wants to make sure their image is projected positively as opposed to genuinely doing something for their community.

In the past, CSR has shown some impact on how it affects the way customers perceive a company. If a company decides to use CSR as lifesaver for a failing product or brand, that intention doesn’t work. Instead, the company needs to look at it’s overall culture and look for ways to leverage a consistent cause that inspires their employees and customers alike.

If it’s about reputation laundering or saving your brand, you shouldn’t give back. You need to resolve what’s wrong with what you’re doing first. If your boat is sinking, you can keep patching the holes, or painting your core values on the side but you really need to dock it and repair it. Then, you can leverage your success through building a Culture of Good.

Here are four tips on how to create a genuine brand identity that works with your company’s Culture of Good strategy:

1. Take an honest look at your company.
Trying to look “real” or “authentic” will not help your company succeed. Do not try to be something you are not. Authentically approaching what is true to your company’s vision and values is a good first step.

2. Localize your give-back.
At Culture of Good, we encourage companies to engage in local activities so that everyone has the opportunity to get involved with their community.

3. Make sure top leadership embodies the Culture of Good
The leaders in your company should be able to motivate your employees and ensure that caring for the world is part of the company’s culture. If not, it will just feel like a chore that no one wants to do.

4. Culture of Good initiatives need to be a movement, not a moment in the company’s schedule.
You need to engage every employee and customer by giving them the opportunity to give back.

When we do things as a company, it should really mean “we.” There’s a sense of fulfillment in that.

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