Social Responsibility: An unavoidable challenge


LEXIA Insights & Solutions

At LEXIA, we know that your brand is already doing a lot in terms of social responsibility, now is time for these actions to help improve the relationship you build every day with your consumers, especially with the youth segment, who see this as a valuable trait. That's why we want to share with you what we know about how to be socially responsible and letting people know about it.      

We hope that the following note will be of interest to you.

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The Challenge. 

The concept of social responsibility has evolved over time. 

Today, individuals are increasingly aware of the environment and the impact of our passage through the world and, little by little, we have begun to take action and demand that others do so. 

What is the best way to respond to this challenge? 

Differences in the perception of social responsibility by age group.    

While today's adults grew up in a world where initiatives to improve the environment were just beginning, millennials were already born immersed in a world where social responsibility was part of the collective imagination. 

For adults, social responsibility:  

  • It's an option, not a priority activity. Their primary goal is not to solve existing problems, they settle for not making them bigger.   
  • They sympathize with the issues, but they don’t take action.   
  • Is conceived as conducts and small actions by which they show the respect they have for the environment.  
  • They sympathize with causes, but they don't act

For young people, social responsibility: 

  • It is an obligation, because they have grown up in a world with specific deteriorations, whose consequences are already felt and in which there is a great media exposure to make them visible. 
  • They consider it an unavoidable commitment to society and the environment that surrounds them. 
  • They conceive and carry out actions that have a significant and positive impact on the well-being of some segment of society or on the environment. 
  • They are actively involved, to ensure that the outcome of their actions is tangible and credible. 

How does social responsibility influence the choice of products? 

At this point, we can see that, although the intention to acquire socially responsible brands exists, it does not always translate into reality, since (1): 

  • 86% of consumers are very willing to change brands if it is socially and environmentally responsible, but only 18% said they always change brands at the time of purchase, even if it is a product or service of the same price and similar quality.  
  • In terms of investment, 75% of people surveyed are very willing to invest more in a product or service in order to buy from a company with responsible social and environmental practices, but only 11% confirm that they always make this investment. 

Given the trends of young consumers, it is very possible that this trend will change as the millenials appropriate the markets, so we must think of social responsibility as an added value. 

Social responsibility actions add to the brand image and this generates a greater rapport with the consumer, but it is not perceived as a decisive factor in the intention of purchase. Let's see why: 

In the brand image. 

There are two associations: 

  • In the intention of purchase. 
  • Those associated with perceived product quality and brand recognition. 
  • A brand image revealed through social responsibility actions is more consistent, distinctive and positive.  
  • This is because shared values are those that most generate identification between an individual and an organization. 
  • Here social responsibility is a crucial value. 

In the intention to purchase. 

Being a consumer product, the quality, liking and brand of the product are the attributes that define the purchase, while social responsibility is perceived only as an added value, not as a decisive factor. 

If it's not visible, it doesn't exist. 

Social responsibility is like a horn, it must be tooted, it has to be visible in order to represent an added value. The consumer lives in a world saturated with media information, so communication and dissemination, in terms of social responsibility, must be highlighted and differentiated in order to be effective.  

The campaigns and actions most identified in association with a brand fulfill 4 crucial factors: 

  1. They have a guiding thematic axis that involves all actions. 
  2. Memorable, attention-getting communication
  3. Consistency in the campaigns in times and frequency to achieve remembrance and to give the idea of a constant action. 
  4. Transparency, accountability and visible results for all. 

Bonafont recycling campaign

The cause action must have to do with and be congruent with the brand. 

That's why tuna farms work to save dolphins and beauty product brands work with women's health issues or animal experiments. It is necessary to exercise social responsibility in the fields that your brand covers, in addition to the fact that the actions must be congruent with the values of the brand, because the actions that achieve the greatest connection with consumers are those that connect with the scope and values of the brand. 

Nike "Dream Crazier" campaign for gender equality in sport. 

Dove, "Real Beauty" for women's self-esteem. 

Now that you know the basics of social responsibility, ask yourself 

How does your brand respond to this challenge? 

How can we help you? 


(1) *Estudio de ResponSable (agencia de Responsabilidad Social)  “Panorama de la Responsabilidad Social en México 2013”

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