Can companies really do well by doing good? It is a frequently asked question rooted in the theory that by offering goods and services that benefit society as a whole, companies will gain an edge over their less socially conscious competitors.
This approach can provide many benefits for a company. If a company can blend its benefit to society into its own business, it can prove to be a very powerful combination of marketing plus practicality.
There are multiple reasons why integrating social wellbeing into its business strategy can help a company’s performance and image. Strengthening its public image by doing good will help the business financially prosper while in return, society benefits from the company’s goodwill as well as its goods and services.
As an added benefit, experts believe that having the beneficiary of those goods and services in mind when planning your business strategy can increase motivation and effort among your employees. People like to know that their work is making a difference.
A good example of a company using this philosophy is Starbucks. A few years ago, a group of consumers began asking the coffee chain about the conditions in which their coffee was grown and began urging the company to carry fair-trade coffee. Since then, Starbucks has benefited significantly from consumers knowing that the company offers fair-trade coffee.
Another excellent example of something that does good is the self-funded business. Self-funding is an idea that does good while accomplishing its financial goals. Most start out by asking themselves what really drives them in life. With that knowledge, the next logical step for self-funders is to look for the necessary skills and resources to make their dream a reality.
The value of benefiting society is not an original concept in business. Historically, businesses have always done well by doing good. For example, if a company sold toys that broke quickly or didn’t offer the child some form of stimulating entertainment, it would not be in business very long. Most successful toy companies have always focused on making toys that help children grow as people which in turn benefits society.
The final important step in this process is to execute your idea in a way that helps sustain and grow your business. This includes evaluating potential key stakeholders and looking at revenue models to determine who may want to pay for your products or services if you add the “doing good” component to the mix.