In recent years, it has become increasingly important to consumers that the businesses they support take a stance on behalf of a cause. A business stance can be set around any value from using locally sourced ingredients to supporting inclusion with the LGBTQ+ community. Consumers want their brands to be socially responsible and their money to make a difference.
According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, members of the general online public are more likely to trust businesses than their government. This may be because consumers believe that businesses are more likely to listen to their preferences than federal and state representatives.
“While companies risk alienating consumers when taking stands, they don’t necessarily do so at the expense of business,” Diana Marszalek, a reporter for the Holmes Report, wrote in Provoke18: ‘You Can Make a Difference And Still Make a Profit.’ In this article, Marszalek sums up the findings of four c-suite leaders from a panel at the #Provoke18 Global PR Summit. In short, the panel emphasized that stakeholder trust was the “the ultimate payoff” and company actions are usually driven by core values.
Still, it’s easy to assume that stances are driven not by a business’ core values but rather personal values. So where does the line exist and how do companies decide whether a stance is relevant to their business?
Answering these questions might help:
- What are my businesses’ core values?
- Does this stance align with the core values?
- Where do the shareholders stand?
- Is my business in a position to truly make a difference?
- Does my business have the time, money and support necessary to contribute to this cause?
Do you think these are the right questions businesses should ask?