With budgets to take care of, new products and services to launch, and top talent to attract, brand and reputation management may rank low on your list of priorities.
However, brand and reputation management is critical to the success of your business. As entrepreneur Richard Branson put it:
“Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.”
As we’ll explore in this article, brand and reputation management is tied to increased customer engagement and stronger brand equity, amongst other metrics.
The best part is that by engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR), you’ll be able to reap these benefits. If you’re curious to discover how CSR can help with your brand and reputation management, keep reading.
Successive research highlights that corporate social responsibility plays a meaningful role in brand and reputation management. For example, one research paper titled, The Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Activities on Building Corporate Reputation, noted that:
“CSR enables firms to improve reputation with a broad range of stakeholders including employees (internal customers), customers (external customers), suppliers, competitors, bankers, and investors.”
Another study found that a sense of corporate responsibility is three times more important to reputation than a decade ago. This finding indicates that it has become increasingly important for businesses to factor brand and reputation management into their overall business strategy.
The beauty of using CSR as a way to manage your brand and reputation is that you’ll also be able to take advantage of the other benefits that CSR offers. From helping your company attract the best talent, to increasing employee engagement, there is no shortage of benefits that CSR can provide your business.
One of the reasons it’s worthwhile to develop a good reputation with CSR is that doing so can lead to financial gains for your business.
Good reputation has been linked with superior financial performance and helping businesses to gain a competitive advantage. For example, a UK study found that more than four in five UK adults (81%) are less likely to recommend a company’s products or services if the company has a bad reputation.
It’s also useful to keep in mind that the relationship between corporate social responsibility and profitability in general for businesses is also well established in the literature.
Another aspect of CSR regarding reputation that’s worth considering is that it acts as a form of ‘reputation insurance’. This is backed by numerous research papers including:
For example, CSR as Reputation Insurance: Primum Non Nocere, a study which involved a case study and a multi-year analysis of stock price responses for S&P 500 companies following product recalls, found that a powerful, but often overlooked benefit of CSR offers is to “insure a firm against a decline in reputation in the face of adverse events.”
The researchers noted that when a firm is confronted with circumstances that have a high potential to negatively impact its reputation (such as a product recall), CSR activities can act as a form of reputation insurance and in turn, risk management.
As the researchers put it, “CSR plays a critical role in colouring perceptions of events that would otherwise be viewed as the fault of management.”
One final notable finding to keep in mind regarding CSR and reputation is that CSR can also boost your brand equity. That is, by helping to develop a company’s good reputation, CSR has been found to also enhance its brand equity.
If you’re not sure what brand equity means, Investopedia describes it as “a value premium that a company generates from a product with a recognisable name when compared to a generic equivalent.”
The reason why the link between CSR and brand equity is so exciting is that developing brand equity offers tangible benefits for your business. For example, the Kantar BrandZ Global Report found that strong brands outperform stock market benchmarks, deliver superior shareholder returns, and demonstrate greater stock market resilience during periods of volatility.
Brand equity is also associated with higher profit margins, premium pricing, greater business growth through brand extensions, the ability to secure more privileged positions on shelves, and more marketing opportunities.
Based on this wide body of research, it’s clear that corporate social responsibility can positively contribute to brand and reputation management in a significant way.
In order for your company to be in a position to access such benefits, you need to start pursuing CSR in a meaningful way.
Of course, this is often easier said than done.
It can be difficult to manage all of the moving parts in your corporate responsibility program without the right tools by your side. That’s why Catalyser has become an indispensable part of many businesses’ CSR programs.
Catalyser is designed to bring all of your different giving activities together onto a single platform. It's tailored to the needs of your company, so you can select the features, functions, and designs you need to make your Catalyser platform your own.
Catalyser has been shown to elevate employee engagement, create greater social impact, and streamline your CSR. So what are you waiting for? Give Catalyser a go today! Book a free demo or contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.