Business Social Responsibility And Politics: Are You A Social Justice Warrior?

By June 4, 2020Grow Business

business social responsibilityAre you using your company to promote business social responsibility? Are you committed to social justice? Is your business devoting time and money to your favorite political causes?

Unless your business model depends upon targeting a niche receptive to your Social Justice Warrior (SJW) activism, you’re hurting the company’s prospects for survival.

Of course, it’s heresy to point this out because it offends those who rely upon corporate donations to advance their causes. And their supporters among workers, the media, and politicians.

Fickle Social Justice Activism

Understand this…there’s a SJW narrative that determines which causes and political candidates are acceptable. And that can change daily or even hourly.

Are you committed to what you’re promoting? Or using it as a cynical marketing ploy?

Don’t misjudge the timing or be exposed as a fake.

Because your business can become a villain overnight among those you thought were your allies. Even if the cause itself remains okay, the language you use today to promote it can make your business a pariah tomorrow for being ***phobic, ***ist, “privileged,” etc.

And what about those who already oppose your views on saving Mother Earth? Or voting for Candidate X? What are the chances they’ll boycott your business if they know you’re working against their beliefs?

The Steve Jobs Example

Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs had this issue pegged.

He definitely had views on business social responsibility and other inherently political issues that he supported. Yet he believed a business’ duty was to its equity owners (corporate shareholders, LLC members, etc.). That’s why Apple was not donating money to social justice causes until after his death.

Does that mean you personally can’t be involved in causes you support? Of course not.

Business Social Responsibility General Rule

But, as a general rule, do it with your personal money and time. Not corporate donations. Don’t turn your company into a social justice machine.

An Exception To The Rule

Of course, there’s an exception to the rule.

What if you’ve found a profitable niche that supports your views? And that niche is broad enough to support your business model? Then it’s okay to associate your company’s brand with those causes.

Niching Ice Cream

A good example of this exception is Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. The activist founders sold their company 20 years ago to Unilever. Yet the brand remains synonymous with environmental and left-wing political activism. And there’s a big enough market of true believers in those causes to support the association.

Alienation And Growth

Yet most developed countries contain populations divided on political and social justice issues. Before you devote your business to causes, be sure you’re not limiting its growth potential. Can you afford to alienate half your potential customers because of business social responsibility activism?

Mike Young

Author Mike Young

Best-Selling Author | Business Coach | Attorney | Husband | Father | Dog Owner

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