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Published On
July 11, 2023
Mariam Rehman

Corporate social responsibility has changed

You’ve certainly heard the words ‘sustainability’ and ESG targets. The discussion on climate change, present political correctness, and an impending recession are all aspects that relate to one another. If you want a seat at the industry-leading table, your company is expected to play a part through corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

To set yourself apart from competitors whilst speaking to consumers in a humanised way, CSR (also known as the triple-bottom-line) is an aspect of your brand that cannot be ignored. The push for good is about the impact that can be implemented with positive outcomes. Measurable, visible, and skewed for the progression of humanity and the economy. 

Now, investors are placing their money thoughtfully in sustainable-led organisations, as to not only do good for humanity but to ensure their investments will live to reap future profits. Annual reports, watchdogs, and robust policies are coming into place to ensure companies are truly following through with their promises. An area where brands fall short is showcasing positive outcomes visibly, without focusing on one-time hits of ‘good publicity. 

Below, we’ll share examples and case studies on how corporate responsibility contributes to becoming an industry leader and how it influences people, profit, and the planet.

CSR is now people, planet, and profits

Patagonia: A people, planet, and profit case study.

The challenge as a company is finding the sweet spot between people, the planet, and profits. Without sacrificing one or the other, companies must look to redefine their point of difference as industry leaders and combine people-led policies and practices to positively make an impact. This is the new age of corporate responsibility. 

Though the proposed profit-share structure of Patagonia is vague and there is little information about Holdfast Collective, what made the headlines was Patagonia’s promise and commitment to allocating $100 million a year to Holdfast Collective and moving its family company of $3 billion and its future profits to fight against climate change. Holdfast Collective, a U.S. nonprofit working for climate action and policy advocacy, owns 98% of Patagonia with The Patagonia Purpose Trust owning 2% of the company and all the voting stock. The nonvoting stock carries economic value, but not decision-making authority. Voting stock entails both economic value and decision-making authority.

This change sparked much conversation and appreciation from company leaders and consumers alike. Part of the reason they are not a publicly traded company is due to its ethical values.

How to have brand differentiation.

To successfully position a brand amidst a saturated market of industry leaders, you must act as a thought leader pioneering change and innovation. 

At an intrinsic level, define what makes your brand inherently different from competitors. This is done by identifying your value proposition, which requires extensive strategic analysis and development. Branching from value proposition comes brand values that are implemented across each aspect of your brand experience. 

Monale explores two aspects of scaling companies to define the brand value proposition. Considered Design is a philosophy we use that analyses past, present, and future data across the People Experience and the Growth Vision. Once qualitative and quantitative analysis is conducted, a value proposition is strategically designed.

People Experience consists of employee, customer, and community impact. Whilst the Growth Vision is the clear business objectives companies wish to achieve, in chronological and sequential order with KPIs. 

These aspects of the brand have a direct correlation to each other to accelerate business growth whilst remaining hyper-focused on CSR.

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