Journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, formerly of the Washington Post, tweeted he was leaving the paper to join Starbucks’s new media company that’s focused on social-impact content. ClickZ reports the effort will initially focus on veterans’ issues.
Starbucks isn’t the only brand to bring its media efforts in-house, nor is it alone in its mission to emphasize social responsibility. But building a media company entirely around social topics is unusual. Starbucks is taking the gamble that investing in this type of content will help raise its profile as a socially responsible company and, consequently, make a favorable impression among socially aware consumers.
More and more, brands are working to highlight their social responsibility efforts through content creation. For some brands, the weaving together of product and social responsibility defines the brand itself. TOMS shoes achieved success in part because consumers felt good knowing that for each pair of shoes they purchased, TOMS would give a pair to those in need. Similarly, glasses retailer Warby Parker also dones a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need with each pair purchased.
Both TOMS and Warby Parker’s efforts are backed by a rich trove of content. Peruse the TOMS blog, for example, and you’ll find dozens of videos, photos, and articles describing the brand’s work to improve communities internationally.
Blending content marketing and corporate social responsibility marketing can help brands gain a competitive advantage, TriplePundit argues. Brands can raise their profiles by showcasing their positive achievements, and they may be further rewarded by attracting media coverage as a result of their actions.
Brands that execute their corporate social responsibility marketing efforts well have a better chance of earning the loyalty of prized Millennial consumers, who value brands that work for good. With social responsibility practically an expectation among younger consumers, brands that fail to share their achievements in this arena may lose out.
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