CSI Marketing 101: pt1 Becoming a brand that cares

CSI Marketing 101: pt1 Becoming a brand that cares

Are you running a business that you're trying to change into more than just a business, but rather into a brand that puts the community first? The solution is CSI marketing efforts. This won't only make you stand out amongst your competitors, but will also show your consumers that you care. Here's more.
by Zanthe Agrela
04. 09. 2021

Are you looking to build more than just a brand? Would you like to build a recognisable big name brand that’s committed to putting people and communities first? If you’d like to build a brand with a difference, a brand that cares, does good and gives back, then CSI marketing efforts is the answer for you. 

In this guide, we break down what CSI marketing is, how it’s valuable to you and most importantly, how you can grow your brand to be bigger and better than your competitors’ while showing that you care.

What is CSI marketing?

Corporate Social Investment originated from philanthropy when the value it added to the reputation of the organisation was recognised and somewhat admired. CSI is the initiative undertaken by your company that is not profit driven and usually external to your usual business activities. It utilises your company’s resources, your staff’s time and skillsets to help uplift communities. Its aim is to provide communities in need with what they require for the greater good.

For example, a company may decide to donate food to a charity that provides shelter to abused women or rally up their staff to paint the walls of an orphanage home. Too often, we see brands partake in these CSI initiatives specifically around Mandela Day as a once off effort to tick the box and utilise social media to showcase their efforts, but we are here to show you how you can capitalise off social efforts, not only once a year, but also how you can tie this into your business and marketing efforts as an ongoing strategy.

You’re probably wondering, “Why? What’s in it for me and my brand?”

So, here’s what’s in it for you:

Well, essentially the core value for your business to get involved in CSI efforts is part of your brand building and positioning efforts. By positioning yourself as a mega brand that cares and does good for society, you’re creating a brand that’s more than just who you are and what you do, it’s a brand your consumers want to be associated with. Here are some more key benefits:

  • Enhanced brand reputation and corporate image that allows you more credibility.
  • By becoming a good corporate citizen, you can improve your organisation’s competitive edge in terms of attracting and retaining investors, clients and employees. This same competitive edge will attract customers and investors to invest in your offering over your competitors.  
  • CSI demonstrates the 'heart' and soul of your company that gives your brand authenticity and a purpose that is far greater than selling your product or service.
  • Creating a sense of employee satisfaction and loyalty by getting everyone involved in doing good thus creating a desirable company culture and creating a happy staff environment, which means dedicated staff that are willing to go the extra mile.
  • It really does pay to be real. When people buy a product or service, it’s not just about what the product itself will do for them. It’s also about what it will say about them, which again ties into your competitive advantage.

Who is doing it well?

Doing good through cause marketing efforts that align with your business can certainly be part of your brand positioning, making you different. Here are some prime examples of big brands doing their part and doing it well:

CellC- Take A Girl Child To Work Day

CellC is invested in and involved with a variety of different CSI initiatives specifically within the education space. Their efforts in rectifying the gender divide gap has brought about the CellC Take A Girl Child To Work Day and further resulted in the #MoreThanADay initiative- an initiative that has made CellCgirl possible. CellCgirl is a digital platform created specifically for young women and girls, to give them tips and resources that make different stages of their lives - like high school, varsity, the working world and entrepreneurship - a little bit easier. 

KFC- Add Hope food for hunger

Through Add Hope, KFC brings together big businesses, ordinary citizens and civil society to address one of the most pressing challenges of our time - childhood hunger. Through Add Hope, KFC donations and the R2s collected from their customers through their restaurants, people have the power to make all the difference. All proceeds raised through Add Hope go directly to non-profit organisations (NPOs), who use this money to provide children in need with the vital nutrition they need to break this cycle. By directly getting customers involved in this initiative, they feel like they’re making a difference and giving back to the community.

At Arc Interactive, we’re passionate about helping businesses and big brands develop their brands through a greater cause and aiding them to position themselves well in the minds of their consumers and employees. To find out more, visit our website or e-mail us on zanthe@arcinteractive.co . We’ve been in the business of making a difference and #MakingBrandsMeaningful for years. To take advantage of our expertise in this field, get in touch with us.

Keep a lookout for the second guide that puts the practice of CSI efforts into place, specifically from a digital perspective and how to ensure that you meet your business and marketing objectives while choosing a cause that’s aligned with your brand. Be on the lookout for the second guide on our social media channels on FacebookTwitter or on Instagram.