What Is A Social Good Brand And What Is Not?
According to a recent study, 73% of consumers believe brands have a responsibility to do, more than just generating a profit. Social Good Brands are brands who work on a ‘Profit with a Purpose’ model solving social, economic and environmental issues, while sustainably scaling up as a business.
The term ‘social good brand’ has been used loosely to depict anyone who is contributing to the society in any way. But it may not be so. Some organizations get involved in “Doing Good” either for the sake of silencing their conscience or putting up a good public image whereas others donate money through charity trusts and philanthropic institutions. I do not consider them Social Good Brands. Also different entities like the Impact investors or Impact funds involved in financing social entrepreneurs or social projects, incubators and startup accelerators, Research Organizations or Think Tanks, Temple or community-based trusts that carry out charity activities, Government Sponsored Programs That Fund Individual or Institutional Changemakers, Philanthropists and Corporate Social Responsibility Programs do not fall under the ‘Social Good Brands’ category as per us.
As mentioned in our eBook: Understanding the Art and Science of Visual Storytelling for Social Good Brands, author Rohan Potdar says –
Social Good Brand is an organized entity that primarily applies itself to solving a single or a multitude of socio-economic problems through resourceful and positive intervention and sustains itself towards its vision by raising funds from donors or by generating profit through business operations or both. This intervention is in form of a social innovation, delivered directly either as a product or a service or both to target communities and markets.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur with a vision to create something that will benefit the ‘Greater Good’, your next question would be, ‘What makes you a Social Good Brand’? If you can imagine a checklist, what parameters would you need to check off to be a ‘Social Good Brand’ in a real sense of the term? Here are 3 key points:
- ‘Passionate for Purpose, Practical for Profit’
As a social entrepreneur, you don’t crave for special attention, public mentions or felicitation for the initiative that you have taken. The cause you address is your passion. You are emotionally and mentally synchronized with the problem that you are trying to solve. At the same time, as a social entrepreneur, you look at your Social Good Brand as a business and adopt a practical approach towards scaling it up to impact more people facing similar problem.
TOMS Shoes is passionately working towards its vision of ensuring that every child from BOP has a pair of shoes and also scaling up their social good business successfully.
- ‘Intimate Relationship With Target Communities’
An entrepreneur is genuinely successful only when she works on the field, interacting with the people who she means to help. Superficially donating to a cause or hosting charity dinners doesn’t make you a Social Good Brand. You have to communicate, and have a dialogue with the community to understand its problems. This builds a relationship of trust between the entrepreneur and the community.
- ‘Innovation is the Currency’
Sustainable Social Innovation is what sets a Social Good Brand apart from others. Social Innovation is at the heart of every social enterprise, creating a sustainable, long-term and unique solution for the target community.
Ulrike Reinhard is using India’s largest Skateboarding Park to motivate rural children of Janwaar in Madhya Pradesh to pursue elementary education. Ulrike, with her initiatives, is bringing about positive change in the mindsets of the people at Janwaar towards other moral issues.
Charity and philanthropy is one way of doing social good. But being a Social Good Brand means being passionate about a socio-economic problem, attempting to solve it through sustained social innovation and intimately caring for the community for whom you seek the change. Are you one?