The millennial consumer and the ever-growing expectation for transparency and social impact have changed the way we shop. I often find myself seeking out brands that promote a specific cause or directly give back proceeds from my purchase. Many times these brands win out over others, after all, then my dollar is being maximized for me and for the world. A 2017 study on corporate social responsibility shows that 87 percent of people surveyed said they would buy a product because of something the company advocated, 76 percent said they would not buy a product from a company they did not agree with.
There’s never been a better time for for-profit brands to share their values and also identify the intersections they have with charitable causes and opportunities to solve our world's issues. Consumers want to know what issues brands care about and what those brands are doing to use their power to create change.
We’re seeing this show up on more and more products. You probably don’t need to be reminded of brands like Toms, the creator of the buy one, give one model or FEED, one of the first retail products that claimed to save a life. But in the spirit of challenging brands to find their relevant and meaningful social impact, I thought I’d share a few brands I’ve used or have been reminded of in recent days.
Soap=Hope. For every product purchased, a bar of soap is donated to someone in need either state-side or abroad. Not to mention their products smell delicious and you’ll love the way they look on your bathroom counter.
United by Blue
A variety of durable goods for those that love the outdoors. For every product sold, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from our world’s oceans and waterways.
National Parks Apparel and Gear with a purpose. Every purchase supports projects in our National Parks and now more than ever we need to preserve our parks.
You know what Amazon is! But just like you can shop for any item or category you choose, you can also donate to the charity of your choice every time you shop with Amazon, making the experience even better than it already is! (Too many people know about this one, but haven’t identified a charity to shop for. Pick yours today!)
This Bar Saves Lives
You buy a bar, the brand gives life-saving nutrition to a child in need. There’s never been a more direct name for a social impact brand.
This brand was actually the first "gift that gives back" that I ever received. About a decade ago, before social impact was a household term, I received a Krochet Kids beanie for Christmas and learned that they provide life-changing job opportunities to women in need.
Oh and of course the reason for the title of this blog and the newest brand I’ve learned about that gives back to make an impact, Yoga Club. For every box of yoga gear purchased, this brand gives a yoga class to a child in need in LA’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. So as a consumer even when you are working out or laying on your couch, you can still feel good about doing good.
As a brand, what does your organization have the authority in and the relevance to, to make a meaningful impact and a "feel good" purchase for your consumers?