Companies have to think about a lot of different factors in order to stay in business and thrive long-term: pleasing investors and stockholders, attracting and retaining customers, and maintaining a positive public image. In the past, all of that was done for a simple reason: to create profits. These days, however, Americans are asking an important question: should corporations be focused on more than just making a profit?
Millennials sure think so! In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers now believe and expect that companies will do more than make a profit: they think companies should give back and maintain high ethical standards.
Back before the internet, companies could operate under a lower profile than they do today, and the term “viral” still applied only to diseases. Now, it’s easy for consumers to air their complaints and their praises to millions of others in an instant. 85% would stop buying a product if the company was revealed to be irresponsible or deceptive, and 72% would spread the word if a company was being socially responsible, making the viral nature of social media an important consideration for companies. On top of that, companies now have an incredible wealth of data they can mine to find out exactly what their customers expect—and those customers want them to do some good in the world.
Corporate social responsibility is a growing trend that’s being driven by the Millennial Generation, which now wields much of the spending power in the United States. It’s not only driving how Americans spend their money, but also where they work. Most Millennials are concerned about more than just bringing home a paycheck. They want to be fulfilled at work and be doing something meaningful. 62% of Millennials would choose to work at a socially-responsible company even if the pay was lower, and companies are beginning that tendency as a recruitment tool.
CEOs are catching on, and 62% believe that corporate social responsibility is now a core part of doing business in the United States. Corporations wield enormous power, and thanks to the beliefs of a young generation and the wide reach of the Internet, they’re starting to use that power to make the world a better place. Whether that means giving back to the community, protecting the environment, or fighting poverty, it’s definitely more than just making a profit.
CSR will affect not only your customers but also the quality of candidates who will be attracted to work for your company. In order to not fall behind, make sure you're doing your part to make your company socially responsible!