CSR or Corporate Social responsibility is the “in” thing now in marketing. With everyone more or less going the same direction and thanks to awesome development in technology, product offerings are becoming similar day by day. With that in perspective, the company that stands out with great CSR activities scores big in peoples minds and pockets.
The trick to effectively use CSR as a brand building or a brand building support tool is
1. Focus on one initiative. Dont associate with 3-4 causes, because that will mean you are spreading your resources in 3-4 areas and not making maximum impact
2. Pick a cause that is closely associated with the business objective and brand strategy. For example – BodyShop is in the business of selling cosmetics made of natural ingredients. Therefore it makes a world of sense for them to associate with anything that’s related to nurturing of nature.
3. Pick a cause that does not already have a solid footprint in people’s mind with an association with another brand. When someone starts to fight BodyShop with ownership of nature protection CSR initiatives, its a losing cause. It would have made for sense for that brand to pick a cause that is still unoccupied by brands.
Dutch-Bangla bank showed how by consistently focusing on CSR, one can build a solid brand. Many should learn from such a great example.