Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen technological advancements that have transformed how the American public communicates. And the business community has appropriately adapted to respond to the needs of their consumers. Whether that’s meant dedicating ad dollars to Facebook or embracing video and podcast content, businesses have always followed the lead of our consumers.

While there’s been seemingly endless discussion within the business community of the impact of these technological changes, another—more important—shift remains under the radar. That is the rise of the values-based consumer. What do I mean by this? Today’s average American consumer is looking for more than a transactional relationship with your business. Instead, they are pledging brand loyalty to companies with congruent values, assigning a premium to those who are able to demonstrate a commitment to corporate citizenship that humanizes a company’s business practices. Case and point: a recent study* indicates that 76% of Americans will refuse to purchase a product if they find out the company supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.

The truth is that this transition has been happening for some time, but has only been exacerbated by the events of the last few months. The Coronavirus pandemic, as well as widespread protests for racial equality, has raised the level of public consciousness of the potential of business to drive health, social, economic and political change. Consumers are leveraging their spending power to demand corporations and their leaders either step up or step out.

Despite a loud call to action that’s forced many businesses to reexamine their values, priorities and role within society, this moment doesn’t require an alarmist response. We’re not in a moment of crisis, but rather a period of opportunity. Those businesses that are shifting their focus to communicate how their values align with their customers, employees, and communities are rising above their competitors, inspiring confidence and cultivating brand loyalty.

Now more than ever, companies have a decision to make: will they STEP OUT on their responsibility to the people who interact with their brand or will they STEP UP and seize the opportunity? If you believe the latter, you need to take the step of communicating your CSR efforts so your stakeholders can see and understand your values. Don’t know where to begin? In the upcoming blog posts, we’ll give you tips for planning and executing a successful CSR marketing campaign.