In this month’s issue of Paint & Decorating Retailer Magazine, Communications Consultant Jan Niehaus preaches the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“As a paint and decorating retailer, you can garner respect among your business peers and customers by demonstrating your own CSR commitments,” she writes. “The respect you gain will lead to trust, and trust is vital to sustaining business relationships, retaining loyal customers and even attracting new ones.”
Perhaps the best thing about committing to a CSR strategy is that you can do it on your own terms. There is no one way to improve the environment and quality of life in your community, so you have the freedom and opportunity make a difference in a way that suits your business and your brand.
“Even the smallest company can formulate and publish its CSR policies,” continues Niehaus, citing the removal of Styrofoam from breakrooms and upgrading to energy-efficient lighting as examples.
So if you’re looking to use philanthropy as a strategic marketing technique, you need not worry about changing the world – any step in the right direction is a great start. Here are three business benefits of doing so.
Attract New Customers. With the rise in environmental awareness among millennials, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be socially responsible. While shoppers used to make decisions primarily on price, the current generation of consumers are always looking to support businesses that make conscious efforts to make their communities a better place – for now and for years to come. If your shop is doing something to help reduce its environmental impact, be sure to share the news on social media so people can hear all about it and think of you next time they’re in the market for paint and decorating supplies.
Earn Respect. It takes a serious effort to make real changes towards social responsibility within your shop. Whether you start a new recycling program, make the switch to energy efficient lighting systems or organize a community cleanup, customers, staff and other industry professionals will always notice your efforts and respect what you’re doing. In addition to attracting new customers and pleasing existing ones, a renewed commitment to CSR will bring your store a great deal of legitimacy and give you a serious edge on the competition.
Improve The World. When it comes to making positive changes to improve your shop’s social responsibility, it’s important to remember the number one goal: to make the world a better place for the next generation. By making positive changes within your business, you’ll help spread awareness about the importance of social, environmental and economic sustainability simply by setting an example. The more passionate you are about the issues, the more your customers, staff and industry colleagues will see your efforts and decide to apply them to their lives, too.