Corporate social responsibility by Guy Rigby

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Branding goes much deeper than a company’s name, logo or strap line. Ultimately, branding is about the people in a business and how they, and the organisation, behave. The culture of the business determines the stature of the brand – success will not be achieved by preaching one message and practicing another.

So businesses should practice what they preach. The business purpose forms the backbone of the brand, creating confidence and focus in the knowledge that ‘this is the way we do things around here.’ It’s only when the purpose and the actions of a business are aligned that the perception of its brand will be favourable.

As businesses grow, it’s important to consider their impact on the wider community. In particular, they should consider how they interact with and contribute to it. Implementing responsible policies and pursuing economic, environmental and social objectives simultaneously are rewarding ways to build and sustain trust.

As Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, said “There is no more powerful a stimulator in society than business. It is more important than ever before for business to assume a moral leadership in society.”

This edition of Enabling entrepreneurs focuses on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). I look at the role that CSR should play in your day-to-day decision making and why it makes a difference. We also feature a guest article from Vistage, the chief executives’ organisation, which investigates the rise of the ‘responsible economy’.

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