For several years marketers have been explaining just what it is that today’s consumer is looking for from the brands they deal with. Although there was a time when price was the ultimate goal when searching for products or services, that is a mindset well in the past. Today’s consumer wants to build relationships with the companies they deal with, and at the core of those relationships are environmental, social and corporate responsibility.
As Justin Cobb explains, “Today’s consumer is more interested in the world around them than in how much designer clothes are going to set them back. They want to know that the brands they buy from have a social responsibility and are not pumping out clothing made in third world sweat shops. They want to know that the companies behind those brands are working toward environmental sustainability and that they are fair and equitable employers.” As a CEO, Justin knows full well that ESG as a core component of company culture is the driving force behind success.
So then, what exactly is ESG and how can that be a key component of company culture? In short, ESG is an acronym for Environmental, Social and Governance standards within a company that is more important than financials. As Justin explained, it’s more of a social mindset in which a company seeks to improve life within their company culture and in the world around them. “ESG seeks to enrich the lives of literally everyone on earth by working toward the common good. For far too long we’ve pillaged our natural resources and taken advantage of the marginalized of society. By giving back even a small percentage of our profits we can build a better and much more equitable society.”
When asked how that leads to growth, Justin replies that it’s simply an investment in our future. “Consumers expect more from the brands they build relationships with and if it takes giving back just one or two percent of our annual profits, imagine how much more that will mean in terms of growth.” However, Justin also warns that companies choose how those resources should be allocated very carefully. “You can’t give in expectation of return,” he warns. “The charities and organizations you donate those profits to must mean something to you in terms of your corporate responsibility. ESG goes beyond marketing. Those donations are the seeds you are planting for a better future and unless they are planted on fertile ground, don’t expect growth.” Make it real and watch your company bloom.