“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”- Albert Einstein.
Boy, was he right!!! But it doesn’t take a genius to understand the power and effects of giving in a social context. Over time there have been studies that proved how humans are hard-wired to function and develop better in a collaborative/ group environment where we feel safe and where we belong. This supportive and nurturing nature makes us much better equipped to develop our own individuality.
In addition to that, the human brain is hard-wired to respond well to reward systems, which is why things like food, sex and giving help to others make us feel all fuzzy and good inside.
Since giving is a massive “feel good” source, how can we as humans and most importantly, how and why should brands do it?
To better understand what giving is and how that is relevant to the world we live in, it is important to note the obvious difference between unconscious and conscious giving. The first one is all about those small, almost natural gestures, such as offering someone a cup of coffee or even holding the door open for a stranger. And the second, conscious giving, is when you put thought, time and effort into giving on a much larger scale and driven by a specific purpose.
We have moved on from the millennial profile that wants instant gratification and everything at their fingertips and onto a more sophisticated upgrade, some super millennials. These are individual personalities that are more switched on, a much more conscious consumer that buys with specific intent. They now need more convincing than ever!
They demand to see a purpose behind a brand they are willing to support. They no longer see themselves as buying a product or service; they want to buy into a community of like-minded people and stand behind a brand that creates that for them.
There is a need to know the story behind a brand, the values it has in common with, and the exact impact it has in the world.
When brands are ready to get involved, they can do so by getting behind some charities that their core values align with and donating money or creating a custom volunteering plan for their employees. And also make sure they know about it!
This will, in turn, generate more loyalty for their brand because of the bond they formed with you and a boost in employee morale, which can only be good for business.
So now that giving is becoming a part of the overall marketing strategy of brands, it begs the question of: does giving expecting a “return on investment” still count as an altruistic gesture or does it strip away its value?