Bundling has been all the rage for a while now. It makes me wonder if there is a legitimate business benefit for bundling corporate social responsibility (CSR).
When it comes to packaging products and services for a more enticing deal, cable companies, software goliaths and fast food entities have long since latched on to the idea of offering various options in ever increasing share of wallet bundles. And when companies are struggling to maintain their market share, there’s often a land grab to add more services revenue via what – via bundling!
Bundling always reminds me of The History Channel’s American Pickers show where a couple of expert antique lovers drive around country back roads with the theme “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” deep in their hearts and wallets. When they can’t strike a deal, Frank always goes for the bundle – trying instead to get the item he really wants by throwing another item in to a ‘made on the spot bundle.’ Works like a charm.
Certainly Marketing pros have been in the business of bundling for some time as well. With today’s lead generation and conversion demands, offering bundles (aka packages) is a great way to attract new customers and perhaps more profitably, to upsell current ones. It’s all about increasing share of mind – and share of wallet.
So how can the CSR movement benefit from that mentality? Well, let’s think about what typically goes on internally to garner support for the CSR platform. You have the environmental, health and safety side of the house (EH&S), understandably concerned with meeting ever-changing regulations.
Then there’s the community relations side, separated in the unbundled silo’d world of many corporations, and until recently most concerned with philanthropy and volunteer placement. Throw in HR, Legal, Public Relations (PR) and Communications (COM) each with their own charges and deliverables that touch CSR, including diversity, safety, employee engagement, corporate storytelling and more.
So along came CSR and their worlds started to well, to look a lot like American Pickers’ free-styling picks. People apparently are collectors of not just any one thing, but everything – and their worlds become a mishmash of great and incredible and dusty and dirty and well, not so organized stuff.
Kinda’ like when EH&S and Community and HR and Legal and PR and COM try to come together internally. You know instinctively that there is there is something of huge and greater value in there – somewhere – but getting there is not without its challenges. One of those is how to sell management and employees alike on the benefits of moving toward an integrated, transparent CSR focus.
Those already actively involved in CSR know the benefit of bundling. After all, whether you talk about 3BL – the triple bottom line – or the 3 P’s – People/Planet/Profitability – you are offering a bundled way to talk of the benefits of responsibility in business.
So, in the spirit of bundling for those newer to the field, here’s a few hypothetical bundles you might offer to help your internal audiences understand the benefits of integrated CSR. Just like marketing packages, you can pick and choose your options, moving up with each package for greater service – and greater benefits. Happy picking!
- The Business Survival Bundle
Select this bundle to get the basics of CSR. With this bundle, you bring together all of the internal stakeholders that need to be notified and involved when your business faces its next – or first – crisis. Perhaps your supplier slips in its compliance to labor laws, or an environmental issue is about to go public, or a whistleblower has brought interest groups or media to your door – you need this bundle to prepare for any issue that may impact the survival of your business!
- The Business Outcomes Bundle
Select this bundle when the outcomes and deliverables required of each separate team depends on input and deliverables by the other teams. After surviving the “Business Survival Bundle” your next step is to add measurability in all you do – not as individual silos but rather for the greater good (and business outcomes) of the entire organization. This bundle takes you down the road on your journey to establishing criteria and publishing annual GRI reports that meet your agreed upon goals for increasing transparency.
- The Business Growth Bundle
Want the greatest benefit of all from CSR? Pick this bundle to see the big picture. Here your business will come to know and understand the bottom line benefits of:
- Having your stock recognized as part of a Sustainability Index
- Being a thought leader making a impact on a significant global issue
- Enticing and hiring employees who only look for companies with a CSR focus
- Engaging internal staff, suppliers, customers and key stakeholders alike in a focused and differentiated CSR strategy!
BTW, if you click here you can play a game where you can virtually join Mike and Frank on a pick! LOL. All part of The History Channel bundle for the show!
- The CSR Officer: What if a Company Doesn’t Have One? (triplepundit.com)
- CSR Communications – the Next Big Opportunity (vikypedia.in)
- Sustainability needs to be in a company’s DNA: interview with Martin Blake (eco-business.com)
- A Multi-channel Approach to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility): A PR Perspective (business2community.com)