During the season of goodwill, it really is the thought that counts.

It’s called the season of goodwill because, at Christmastime, we often spend more on others than ourselves – whether that means buying gifts for our families, spending time with loved ones or giving donations that make the festive season a little more merry for those less fortunate than us. But research suggests that the spirit of giving now extends well beyond the time it takes for any pine, spruce or fir tree (non-drop or not) to lose its needles in your living room, and we expect the brands we buy from to follow suit.  


Corporate social responsibility is nothing new, companies have been supporting charities and social initiatives for years in an attempt to demonstrate how much they care about their staff, customers and the places where they do business.  But, all too often, these seemingly altruistic activities are thinly-veiled attempts to get good publicity at best and tax write-offs at worst.    


Cause marketing campaigns that are explicit about their dual purpose of increasing profitability while bettering society are, perhaps, a more honest approach to corporate philanthropy.  For example, a company may pledge to donate a certain amount of money to a charity for each of their products sold over a period of time. But customers are increasingly dissatisfied with brands that only do good because of the good returns their charitable activities provide, and we now expect social responsibility to be an intrinsic part of the businesses that we support. 


Recent research from MWWPR, shows that one in four UK customers believe that a company’s values, reputation and what it stands for are as important as its products and have made multiple purchases based on this belief.  Branded “CorpSumers,” they’re not just changing their own behaviour based on these principles, they’re influencing others -  85% of this more than 16 million-strong market segment report that they talk to friends, family and colleagues about these topics at least a few times a month. 


There are other incentives for companies to embrace this approach – aligning yourself with a purpose can help you stand out in a crowded market and also makes your company more attractive to employees who, studies show, are choosing to work for organisations that have values that align with their own.  And there are still plenty of opportunities for you to highlight your charitable work through marketing and PR campaigns, as long as these campaigns are designed to support your activities and aren’t the motivation to embark on them in the first place.      


Get in touch to find out how Little Cricket can help you promote your charitable activities.

CC image by Marco Verch on Flickr