While 2020 was a year of great digital advancements, it was also a year of great difficulty across the globe, as consumers were faced with heightened health, societal and environmental concerns. While personally navigating through COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing environmental issues such as climate change, consumers demanded brands take stands and use their platforms to communicate values that aligned with those of their consumers. Many brands and retailers stepped up through impactful corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in 2020.
Authentic CSR Initiatives Resonate With Consumers During 2020
Consumers are continuously seeking out brands that display authentic CSR, with a September 2020 DMS Insights article reporting “40% of consumers seek purposeful brands and trust in brands to act in the best interest of society.”
Especially during times of great uncertainty, consumers gravitate toward brands that take a stand through their messaging or by creating impactful initiatives that benefit the greater good. Brands and retailers that can tap into heightened expectations from consumers by incorporating authentic social responsibility into their advertising efforts have a greater chance of connecting with audiences, creating positive brand reputations and establishing allegiance and long-term loyalty among consumers.
Here is a roundup of DMS Insights articles that spotlighted the 2020 CSR initiatives from major brands across industries.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply shortages were a nationwide issue, leading several major brands to leverage their existing resources in order to make necessary items like face masks, hand sanitizers, respirators and more. From manufacturing companies to alcohol brands, major corporations displayed compassion and took proactive steps to leave a lasting impact and gain the respect of consumers.
Burger King, Chipotle and Pizza Hut differentiated themselves from their competitors in 2020 by launching purpose-driven campaigns that resonated with some of the top issues consumers care about today. Stretching across climate change, sustainable farming, hunger and the gender wage gap, major brands found affinity with new audiences, especially among younger consumers, through authentic messaging surrounding social responsibility.
As the fight against racial injustice peaked across the country in late May, several brands – from CPG companies to software companies and social media giants – joined in the fight by putting actions behind their words. Months later, advertisers continuing digital strategies to amplify their racial justice messaging and mandates resonated with consumers seeking brands that were actively involved in the BLM movement, leaving a lasting impact on consumers and their brand perception.
A 2020 study revealed that 45% of respondents are proactively seeking “more sustainable choices” when shopping. Leveraging eco-friendly product launches, charitable partnerships and more, major brands like Chipotle, Subaru and PUMA incorporated CSR into their brand values and initiatives in 2020, establishing trust during a time of great uncertainty.
Click here to read more CSR news from DMS Insights.
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