Alan Mitchell’s article on trust raised some critical issues, but I was surprised it didn’t mention corporate social responsibility (CSR) more specifically. In a climate where consumers want brands to demonstrate their trustworthiness, shared values, and understanding of customers’ needs, what better way than through commitment to and investment in the community?
Those companies that invest in mutually beneficial, sustainable schemes which actively embody their values are respected and trusted more by consumers than those that don’t. Of course, consumers need to feel the CSR activity is not just a facade behind which corporate wrongdoing lurks.
The increase in indices that measure corporate behaviour (such as FTSE4Good and BITC CSR Index) shows that these activities are becoming important – to investors as well as consumers. Companies that put their money where their mouths are will reap the benefits by winning consumers’ trust – and custom.
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