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Doing Good is Good for Brands

By Sarah Harris, VP, Social Impact, Audacy

Giving is good for you

Now that we’ve polished off the last Thanksgiving leftovers, it’s Giving Tuesday, time to remember what the holidays are all about: giving back and supporting worthy causes. Good news, beyond the benefit of helping others, giving is good for your health too! Studies show Americans who volunteer and donate to charitable causes benefit – enjoying lower blood pressure and stress levels, better sleep, and higher self-esteem.1 Helping others even helps you live longer!

Consumers want brands to do good too

It’s no surprise then that Americans want their brands to be socially conscious too. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say it’s more important than ever to buy from brands that reflect their values.2  Even more significant, 88 percent of Americans opt to buy from purpose-led brands. When a brand takes social action, it shows consumers what it stands for – and invites people to consciously buy brands doing good in the world, over other brands.3

Brands that take a stand get results

Brands taking social action are listening to their customers – while building relationships that engage people and extend impact. The benefits cascade: Supporting socially conscious brands helps consumers feel good. From there, the halo effect extends outward. Fans will recommend your brand to friends and family, post favorably on social media, and join in support of community activities. 

76%

When a brand leads with purpose, consumers are 76% more likely to trust the brand4

Leading by example

Some of the world’s brand leaders are matching consumer sentiment and raising the bar of expectations, and possibilities, for brands. 

Brand Purpose Builds Loyalty 

Purpose-led marketing also builds consumer loyalty. P&G has declared its business to be a ‘force for good and a force for growth,” across its portfolio. P&G brands support causes that align with its customers’ interests and passions. Tide, for example, urges consumers to wash clothes in cold water because cold washes use 90 percent less energy, while Always donates millions of feminine hygiene products each year to improve access to supplies. To reduce its environmental impact, P&G deodorant brands Secret and Old Spice introduced plastic-free, paper packaging. 

When P&G gets involved, they go all-in. For each campaign, P&G partners with like-minded non-profit organizations to lend critical financial support. Most importantly, P&G’s efforts are compatible with its businesses and its customers’ needs. That creates authentic connection and meaningful impact.

72%

Consumers are 72% more likely to be loyal to purpose-led brands5

Brand Purpose Delivers Big ROI

At consumer packaged goods giant Unilever, nearly half of its top 40 brands focus on sustainability, including Dove, Lipton, and Knorr. Why?

Its customers care about sustainability and Unilever is taking action. It helps the bottom line too; Unilever says that its sustainability-minded brands are growing 50 percent faster than the rest of the business and account for 60 percent of its growth.6

175%+

Brands with a high level of purpose produced 175% higher brand growth over 12 years7

The stats are impressive, yet, how can a brand deliver both – purpose and profit?

1. Lead with brand strength

Start where you are and where your brand is strong. Building from brand strength enables impact uniquely powerful and directly tied to your brand. Unilever’s business creates goods – thus their emphasis on doing so sustainably.

2. Align with consumer values

What do your customers care about? Meet them in their passions and allow your brand to be the vehicle to drive impact for causes they care about. P&G brands support causes that align the values and priorities of their customers. 

3. Integrate holistically 

Link your brand purpose consistently through your product experience. Do you have a voice on an issue? Speak up authentically. Does your brand have a role to play in meeting a need? Donate product, time, expertise. Can your brand unlock resources to support good work? Add a ’round up to donate’ option at point of sale. Engage your consumers with you in support of your purpose and positive impact will follow. 

Audacy’s “I’m Listening” campaign promotes mental health

At Audacy, we endeavor to lead by example. Our “I’m Listening” social impact campaign is dedicated to raising awareness for mental health, encouraging wellness and self-care, and raising awareness for suicide prevention.

As we’ve built “I’m Listening,” we’ve leaned into our core brand strengths. As an Audio leader, we know how to tell stories that build connection with our listeners – via our trusted personalities and hosts across our radio stations, podcasts and live experiences. 

We’ve marshaled our best assets and woven our message authentically into the Audacy listening experience. National campaigns and our annual two-hour mental health special each September feature artists, celebrities, and athletes sharing their experiences with mental health. We meet our listeners where they are too – celebrating at live events – raising awareness and significant support for leading mental health organizations. 

The Gift of Giving

While each brand takes a different path, we share our commitment to mental health with “I’m Listening” as a window into how a brand can define its purpose, engage its community of fans and create value – for the brand, consumers, and the world around us. 

Now is the time for brands to step up and share their values. Join us in leading with purpose and making a difference. Social action will inspire your customers, and you’ll earn their trust and loyalty in the marketplace. More than ever, consumers want their brands to stand for something, and giving back is good for everyone – including you.

On Giving Tuesday and every day, there’s simply no better gift.  

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SOURCES

 

1. Cleveland Clinic, Why Giving is Good for You

2. 2019 Porter Novelli/Cone Purpose Biometrics Study: Feeling Purpose

3. 2018 Porter Novelli/Cone Purpose Study: How to Build Deeper Bonds, Amplify Your Message & Expand Your Consumer Base

4. Purpose Perception: Porter Novelli’s Implicit Association Study

5. Purpose Perception: Porter Novelli’s Implicit Association Study

6.  Accenture Strategy: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand

7. Kantar Consulting: Inspiring Purpose-Led Growth

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