The Common Good: Why Shared Values Are More Valuable Than Ever
The pandemic has left many of us isolated and vulnerable while exposing the gaps in our social safety nets. Now more than ever, strong community relations can be a way to overcome that isolation, connecting people with the causes they care about while offering them a way to give back. It shows that a brand not only has a stake in its customers but its community, leading with empathy and fostering good will.
We’re seeing that Canadians are choosing companies that take real action to improve conditions in the communities in which they operate. A 2018 report conducted by The Upside Foundation, a charity that enables startups to give back by sharing their financial upside, found that:
- 70 per cent of Canadians are more likely to purchase from companies that support charities
- 81 per cent agreed that all companies should give back
- 68 per cent said they would be more loyal to companies that have a corporate giving mandate
While the pandemic has interrupted regular day-to-day business operations for most, brands are increasingly recognizing the importance of providing support outside of their core offerings, and have turned to digital tools to accelerate and deliver on their community relations commitments.
For example, Honda Canada launched a virtual volunteer program that incentivizes employees to work remotely with organizations within their community. The program gives associates the opportunity to participate in online activities such as neighbourhood wellness checks, writing letters of hope and positivity to seniors, and becoming trained volunteer crisis responders for emergency hotlines across the country.
Another example is Starbucks’ recent partnership with LifeWorks, a leading digital wellness platform to support its employees and their families, providing them 24/7 mental, financial, physical and lifestyle wellness services.
There are many long-term benefits for companies that accept their civic responsibility and take an active interest in the wellbeing of their communities: staying top-of-mind for customers, building strong relationships with like-minded organizations, and connecting their products with positive values in a tangible way, to name just few. It’s encouraging to see organizations big and small stepping up to provide relief for services that have become stretched beyond capacity.
We expect these trends to remain post-pandemic: companies will continue to invest in positive impact, and consumers will continue to choose organizations that address local priorities. As your own purchasing habits continue evolving, I challenge you to take a closer look at what you’re really buying into. Do the brand’s values align with your own?