16 Dec Corporate responsibility is not an idea
In the purest sense of the word, a family unit is a corporate entity, and in a healthy family each member feels a responsibility to the whole unit, and the community around the unit. Tidying the house, maintaining the yard, the occasional donation to the volunteer fire department, picking up the neighbor’s mail and maybe feeding their dog while they’re out of town are all part of their natural sense of corporate responsibility; they are part of a family unit, which is part of a community unit, which is part of larger and larger units all the way up to the planetary level.
If companies want to do something about the image of the monstrous corporate boogeyman then it starts with this sort of corporate responsibility: a departure from the ways of cold, heartless Scrooge and a return to the warm, civic minded ways of dear old Fezziwig. Creating the image of their brand as being a part of the family, invoking a sense of trust and assurance, warmth and community involvement, becoming a comfort in dark times and part of the celebration when times are good are all possible goals.
Imagine the soldier in the desert who gets a care package from home and finds a bottle of his favorite brand of local drink. Whatever is in the bottle is less important to his experience than the brand image on the bottle, for it is this that will conjure up all of the warm memories of happy times with friends and family. Don’t start bottling nasty beverages with great brand image though, probably not sustainable.
Finding a way into this tender part of a customer’s mind and heart is no small task, but remaining mindful of all of the elements that go into making someone have a good experience with a product or service is just the sort of corporate responsibility that can have that effect over time.
The potential to accomplish this has been improved dramatically by the introduction of the social media element to online life. With people tweeting and posting away about all of the different experiences they have it is now possible for word of mouth to spread around the world in a matter of days or even hours. This is great for companies that are doing the right things and have good business practices in place, especially since it is so bad for those that are and do not.
Corporate responsibility is not an idea, it is not some leftist ploy, it is the only way to build sustainable positive brand image.