A strong social licence earns you...
Brand preference - because you stand for more than your bottom line.
A Consumer Culture report in 2020 showed an overwhelming positive response to companies with a higher brand purpose as well as research showing that 71% of consumers prefer buying from brands that align to their values.
Future-proof - One of the most powerful things we can do is make our stakeholders a genuine part of the process. Like Unilever- if you understand who your stakeholders are and what they value you can understand their needs and expectations, then prioritise your resources for things that are relevant and supported by them.
Business growth - Caring for society actually earns you a premium. Social impact strategist Wendy Wood shares her data in her Tedtalk about how companies can earn an 11% valuation premium by embedding social good initiatives.
The cynics out there will say business needs to focus on its return and entering into the social, political or environmental space is not its mandate, however this is a dying sentiment that is losing its relevance. Even Wall St’s Larry Fink, the CEO of the BlackRock, has repeatedly signalled to his investors that they need to be making a positive contribution to society or lose the company’s support.
Banks have also introduced green funds for businesses wanting to borrow money for sustainability purposes.
Whether it’s about making an impact or a return, where there are problems there are opportunities. In Net Positive, Paul Polman says you’ve got to make 1+1 = 11 referencing the proverb “If you want to go quickly go alone, if you want to go far go together.”
These non-linear returns come when you are brave enough to let people in.