What used to be considered, civic spirit, self-interest, or just plain neighborliness on the part of the Main Street merchant now has a much more sophisticated package – Corporate Social Responsibility. Much larger companies learned that the way to their customers’ hearts in the less personal world of mass retailing and nationwide consumer relationships sometimes came through alignment with causes or points of view that the analytics said reflected the psychographics of their target customers.
A less cynical view would say that people want to patronize those who believe as they do.
“Corporate responsibility can do a lot to attract customers. Fifty-five percent of consumers said they are willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies.”
But the objective doesn’t have to be profit or even raising revenue. Some business people just do what they believe is the right thing to do.
This article from the Small Business Administration via SCORE gives a good overview of CSR programs with some informative links to charts, research and ideas for how small businesses can strike the right note.