Point of Difference when Social Responsibility Matters
Our suggested point of difference for businesses looking to stay relevant in today’s market is social responsibility.
So, I have a challenge for you. I want you to try and answer the following question in 10 seconds.
What is your business’ point of difference?
Did you have an answer? If you did – nice job! Now, consider how well your point of difference translates to today’s consumer. (Hint: keep reading!)
If you couldn’t think of anything, don’t worry! A point of difference is something that makes you or your business stand out from others. And whether you know it or not, your business has one. Almost all businesses have a point of difference. But the challenge is identifying it, and knowing how to leverage it.
Social Responsibility and your Point of Difference
Consumers today are expecting more than your average free shipping or delivery services. More and more consumers want businesses to contribute to a cause. For example, think about the following scenario.
There are coffee shops on either side of your office. Their coffee is exactly the same price, but one of them doesn’t support the use of reusable cups. Which one are you going to choose for your daily cup of joe?
Now think about what happens if all consumers make this choice.
In addition, consumers are happier to speak up about businesses that are (or aren’t!) making a contribution. Be a business that is creating positive word of mouth as a result of your actions.
Doing something for your community is a point of difference. So you need to make sure you are telling consumers about your efforts. It’s important that you leverage your actions through marketing activities. Building your profile as a socially responsible business can help boost your brand. As well as create more opportunities with partners, supporters and customers.
Here are some ways you can use social responsibility to do good and bolster your brand in a consumer-driven market.
A Sustainable Point of Difference
Global sustainability is a widely discussed topic in 2019. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set out where the global community is meant to be in just 11 years. And it is important your business gets involved in some way. Big organisations are putting pressure on businesses to be more socially aware and consumers are too.
Not ready to make a big jump into sustainable action? Try making small changes in your business to benefit the community and environment:
- Does your business print a lot of documents? Have you thought about changing to an online system to save paper?
- If you sell products, you could consider a tree-planting program. For every $100 sold of your products sold, you could plant a tree.
- Replace disposable items in your office with reusable ones. (This is a great opportunity to create branded mugs or drink bottles!)
As touched on in the coffee example, consumers WILL make a decision based on sustainability. So, advertise the sustainable activities your business is doing. This gives you a strong point of difference in consumers’ eyes.
Promote Equality with your Point of Difference
Another widely recognised and discussed issue is inequality. Whether it be related to gender, income, or infrastructure. Find a cause that your business values align with and put your efforts towards it. Consider areas of the community that help overcome inequality.
- Are you able to donate some of your profits to a charity supporting women?
- Is there an opportunity for your business to assist the less fortunate through volunteer programs?
- Can your business create a workplace program to support those in other countries?
It doesn’t have to be a physical donation either, it could be an awareness program. (Check out this Facebook post for an example!). You could also think larger than just your team by getting your customers involved in your efforts.
Word-of-mouth is a widely trusted source of facts among consumers. Imagine the success of your point of difference if your customers are involved. As they are likely to talk about it with friends, family and colleagues.
Use your Point of Difference to Grow your Local Community
Show your customers that the growth of your local community matters to you. And leverage your point of difference based on your location. For example:
- Does your business have a large facility? Hold events for the community to advertise local service providers or support locals in need.
- Is there a local event that you can sponsor or provide goods for?
- Are you sourcing your labour and supplies from the local community?
As well as highlighting your business’ commitment, it also strengthens the business community. As a result, you can then reach out to other businesses for support or partnerships. In addition, you might create a rapport with community members. Which could then lead to increased sales or business.
The Most Important Part…
Whatever your business comes up with, it is essential that you and your staff are passionate about it. We encourage you to incorporate your social responsibility efforts into your overall business strategy. Not just because it can form a point of difference, but because your team cares about it. Show your consumers that it means something to you. So, it can then mean something to them.
And always remember to share what you are doing!
If you are struggling to create a point of difference for your business, contact our team today.