As 2023 winds down, it’s time to look ahead at what’s in store for 2024.
While making plans to grow your business and increase profitability is crucial, it’s equally important to take a look at the impact your company has the power to create.
Never before has social responsibility been such an essential factor of business success. Corporate leaders can no longer afford to take a back seat when it comes to relevant social and environmental issues.
Consumers, employees and shareholders have come to expect that businesses take action to make the world a better place. For example, according to data from ZipDo, 83% of employees would think about leaving a company that was irresponsible when it comes to CSR practices. What’s more, more than half (54%) of global consumers take a company’s CSR practices into account when making a purchase.
So, what can business leaders do to strengthen their social good strategy in 2024? Here are a few of our ideas:
1. Consider your triple bottom line
Coined in 1994 by writer John Elkington, the triple bottom line is a business framework that evaluates a company’s success in three parts: social, environmental and profit. With this framework in mind, businesses should be just as focused on their social and environmental impacts as they are on their profits.
Not only can a strong focus on social good contribute to a more positive brand reputation and a healthier ecosystem overall, but it can also have tangible business benefits when it comes to profits. In other words, the triple bottom line acts as a feedback loop of positive momentum. For example, a report from the Babson College Institute for Social Innovation found that CSR initiatives can increase revenue by up to 20% and increase market value by up to 4-6%.
In 2024, consider evaluating your business’s success using metrics that take into account the full picture of the company’s impacts on society. Profit is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to the health of your business—it’s just as important to understand how your company is impacting the world around it.
2. Find a cause that matters to you and is relevant to your business
Although we might want to, none of us can prioritise each and every good cause in the world. There are simply too many to count, and even if it were possible, we’d be spread too thin to really make an impact.
That’s why it’s essential that businesses narrow their focus to a select number of causes—depending on the size of the business. If you’re struggling to choose, think about where your business could offer the greatest impact, and how you can leverage your current skills and capabilities to help others.
For example, let’s say you’re a fitness brand offering several boutique gym locations across the country and an apparel line. To up your social good strategy in 2024, you could:
- Provide free fitness workshops to underserved communities
- Hold a fitness competition or sponsored run and donate the funds to supporting young athletes or a healthcare cause like cancer research
- Donate to local schools so they can provide nutritional counselling to students
The possibilities are truly endless. The important thing is to align yourself with a cause that matters to your business and that has the potential for your business to make a tangible positive impact.
3. Get creative
With the above point in mind, don’t hesitate to get creative when considering your social good strategy for 2024.
Consider how you can make an impact in a way that’s interesting and engaging for the public. That way, you’ll be building buzz around an important social issue, while raising awareness around your brand and increasing positive reputation.
For example, in 2021, Coca-Cola released its 100% plant-based bottle as part of its ambition to create a World Without Waste. The bottle’s design is eye-catching aesthetically, and has the potential to make consumers want to learn more.
Some others ideas you might want to consider include:
- Themed fundraising events
- Collaborations with other brand-aligned companies
- Social media campaigns with beautiful photography and graphics
- Branded merchandise like t-shirts, caps and water bottles with proceeds going to a good cause
- The list goes on!