As consumers grow increasingly interested in working with brands that have a strong social conscience, it’s important for companies to ensure that they aren’t just about the profits, but that they also have something more to offer. Although it can be daunting for a food or beverage brand to suddenly adopt a social mission, creating one can help businesses connect more closely with consumers who rank this as a high priority.

Why should you create a social mission? One huge benefit is an uptick in your customer retention and loyalty rates, as well as increased peer-to-peer recommendations, says Gwendolyn Wright of The Wright Consultants in San Francisco. “A company which values social responsibility and having a positive impact on the community often sees the value of its brand increase in the eye of the customer,” she says. “Customers, especially millennials, want to know a company is doing something good with their money and making a difference in the world. It also makes employees feel better about the company, which enhances performance.”

Australia has been referred to by publications as one of the gayest countries in the world. Businesses may think this will cause them to lose profits, but what they’ll end up finding is that they gain additional profit because people want to work with companies that are doing good for their communities

Statistics and data

  • 79% of Australians viewed that homosexuality should be accepted by society
  • On average, approx. 10% (2.3 million people) identify themselves at GLBTI.
  • Approx. 33,700 same-sex couples in Australia (2013).
  • Same-Sex household income on average is $2,000 or more a week (2013).
  • The Value of the Gay and Lesbian marketplace is $20 billion (AUS) and $840 billion (USA).
  • The LGBTI market is influential and rapidly growing consumer segment.

Consumer Power wielded by the LGBTI Community

Mainstream businesses are increasingly aware of the potential of the Consumer Power wielded by the LGBTI Community. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 gay consumers prefer purchasing products advertised in gay and lesbian media and will recommend your products or brand their friends and allies.

Consider this example: Bob Evanosky launched the Aspen Lane Wine Company as a way to boost donations to local non-profits, and the company donates 100% of the business’s profits to organizations that are dedicated to helping children and adults with special needs. “When someone buys our wine, we want them to pick a charity that we’ve pre-selected that we know we can vouch for,” he says. He estimates that by 2022, the company will be able to distribute $1.4 million annually to non-profit organizations.

What surprised Evanosky about his business was that even though his customers enjoyed his wines, they were more drawn to the winery’s philanthropic philosophy. “If you have a product and you choose to get a social mission overnight, it will increase your profit faster than you can give it away,” he said. “If there’s ever been a time where shoppers want a purpose, it’s now. I didn’t know that when I started, but now that I’ve been in business for a while, I’ve found that as long as there’s a social bend to a product, people really love it. If a business opens up its heart a little bit, they’d actually make more money.”

 

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