Conscious consumers expect corporations to be change-leaders, and the rise in social good and cause-marketing efforts is the corporate response.

As sustainability and global citizenship become paramount, consumers are more aware that they hold the cards, and they expect those in the deck they’re buying from to lead the way to the better future. While CSR and sustainability are built into most corporate platforms, expectations have heightened. Conscious consumers expect corporations to be change-leaders, and the rise in social good and cause-marketing efforts is the corporate response.

While many corporations continue to test the waters, still searching for their role in this fairly new climate of widespread concern, others have chosen to build or rebuild their foundation on a platform designed to initiate change.

The Kind Movement

KIND, with the advantage of a 21st century birth, had a pretty significant head start. Their brand is built on purpose, goodness, and, obviously, kindness. But, they’ve gone beyond buzz words and natural ingredients, adding healthy to tasty, as they say. They emphasize their philosophy by initiating kindness and collaboration through their marketing efforts. Their “Pick a Flower and Pass it on” campaign encouraged passers-by on a street corner to change someone’s day with a simple gesture. It affected hundreds, and the video documenting it probably affected millions.

Other #kindawesome videos representing partnerships with nonprofits serve to spread the good being done and to inspire collaboration. The quality is far greater than many mainstream-messaging commercials, because being kind is KIND’s message.

The quality is far greater than many mainstream-messaging commercials, because being kind is KIND’s message.*

Green Consumers

Through marketing social good and sustainability campaigns, corporations have an opportunity to exponentially increase the impact of such initiatives.

Recognizing that green consumers steer the future, companies can market to their sensibilities in order to fulfill each segment of a triple bottom line.

Conscious, or “green” consumers, says Suzanne Shelton, with sustainability consulting firm, Shelton Group, are the consumers corporations want on so many levels.

Green consumers are not “green consumers.” They are “the most desirable consumers.”

    • They’re 24 percent of the population.
    • They’re opinion leaders and early adopters.
    • They shop more frequently than the overall population.
    • They’re more brand loyal than any other consumer group.
    • They regularly pay more for brands they trust.
    • They’re materialistic (!).
    • They prefer shiny new green things vs. used stuff.

And, as importantly, in a global sense, they’re more likely to join in, or at least raise awareness for the causes represented by the companies doing the most good.

Whole Foods and Public Address System partnered to connect consumers with their food, to care where it comes from.

These consumers are rarely won over by commercials aiming to entertain with inconsequential antics. And they all but turn a blind eye to billboards and advertisements flaunting little more than a corporation’s ability to deliver corporeal pleasures or one material promise or another.

They want to be inspired. They want to make a difference.

KIND’s latest Strong & Kind line carries a weighty message endorsed by Kevin Durant, who’s presence alone inspires young people around the world.*

The line between broadcasting the importance of the good a company is doing and blatantly marketing itself on that premise is quite thin, but it’s one that the new generation of consumers is demanding corporations tread on. The call for collaboration and transparency is like climate change. It’s real and loud and clearly not going anywhere. Consumers feel that companies should not only initiate change but inspire change.

PR firms Jump on Board

While social enterprises, B corporations, and many 21st companies have this down, more established companies have had to rewire a bit. And PR firms like MSLGroup are all over it.

MSL has developed a Purpose + People platform designed to inspire clients to develop an authentic, purposeful voice that represents an attempt to better societies and the environment they can thrive in.


Stories Sell

Good Citizenship campaigns fortified by stellar storytelling through content, video marketing, and commercials show us that the power to change the world is in all of our hands, that each purchase, each act of kindness matters. And, the ripple effect that this kind of marketing creates is beneficial to everyone.

In this new climate of concern, consumers want to see change happening. They want to be convinced that their choices could help change the world at a time when the world could really use it.

*Public Address System was not affiliated with the #kindawesome and Strong and Kind campaigns.

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