CSR Predictions for 2019January 10, 2019
Last year, major brands focused on philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a means to connect with their audiences. This is a trending strategy that many companies are using to improve brand loyalty. The question is, will that continue into the new year? To celebrate the start of the new year, here are our CSR predictions for 2019:
Diversity and Inclusion
America’s biggest companies and brands have placed a heavy emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and we predict that this will carry over into the new year. Pushes for diversity in the boardroom and the C-suite will continue as well as the “No More” and “Time’s Up” movements. People are more likely to support brands that stand for something. Show your audience that you are willing to take a stand on important matters and you will increase brand loyalty.
In the past, major brands wanted to steer clear of politics. They did not want customers to know whether they were Democrat or Republican, left or right, because their customers were both. Now, employees and customers, particularly on the coasts, demand that major brands take a stand. A great example of this is in 2018 when NFL players took a knee during the National Anthem. When corporations take a stand on political issues, it opens individuals up to become politically active as well.
CSR as Crisis Inoculation
One of the most important things you can do as a brand is to make friends, build fans and increase followers when times are good. One way to do this is by helping solve some of society’s most severe problems. It is important to keep in mind that a reputational crisis could happen to any company at any time, so you need to build good will in the bank of public trust for the bad times.
Going forward, the emphasis on CSR and brand activism will remain the focal point for big brands. The question is, will major brands emphasize philanthropy and CSR out of fear that a downturn in the economy will happen? Only time will tell.