Recent research, by Google, indicates “doing good” and “being helpful” are two measures of a brand now being used when consumers are making purchasing decisions. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on how businesses engage with the world around them and have consumers asking what they are doing to help their customers, staff, and the environment. 

Google has seen an increase in search traffic for brands that are ethical. The challenge here is not only to have a programme of activities which does good but to communicate about it. If you aren’t talking about what you are doing, Google and your consumer, aren’t going to be able to find out about it or choose you over another because of.

When asked about how to create a strong social investment portfolio, we recommend you find a cause that aligns strategically with your business, something you and your staff can connect with. If you are about environmentally friendly living, find a cause that improves the world. If you care for people in your day-to-day activities, find a charity that does likewise. This makes telling the story of why you are doing what you are doing easier because you can relate to it and there is an obvious connection between your brand and the cause. 

Don’t only consider monetary contributions either, your network and services may be of more value than a once-off donation. Non-Profit Organisations struggle to find board and committee members to engage and really get involved in their organisations. If you have the skills, giving of your time can make a huge difference. Causes are always looking to make more people aware of what they are doing, so if you have a mouthpiece, use it to elevate the cause close to your heart by sharing about it. 

Finally, don’t support a cause whose values you can’t live out. If you are pro-sustainability, start with your offices and products and make sure, as far as possible, you have created an eco-friendly workspace. Changing what you can show your consumer you are walking the talk and adds authenticity to your message. Your consumers have long-since worked out it is far easier to make a donation to a charity than for you and your business to truly engage with a cause. In 2020, however, consumers are looking for businesses to do both.