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What Do We Owe One Another?

by Stephanie Newton - August, 2021

It’s safe to say that events of the past 18 months have tested us all. We’ve had to adapt to new ways of living, forge fresh habits, and shift mindsets.

While we faced these challenges, something else was taking place: we were uncovering a newfound understanding of social responsibility.

More than ever before, we’ve been tasked with looking out for and looking after one another. It’s been our duty, so much so that it was put in legislation, to make sacrifices for the greater good. For each other.

Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay at home.

Many of us did, and continue to do these things, not for our own benefit, but because it was our job to make sure that those more vulnerable than ourselves didn’t need to live alone, or to live in fear.

We’ve been living this way for a while now, so it may not sound that ground-breaking. But what happens when a society that, for years – arguably since the Industrial Revolution – has been conditioned to live as individuals?

Do what’s best for yourself. Get that job – the one that pays the most. Buy the cheapest, most convenient thing. For you. No matter the cost to others.

In many ways we’ve had to relearn what social responsibility is and reclaim a sense of community that was arguably lost.

Despite the challenging events we’ve faced collectively, not to mention personal losses along the way, stories of inspiration have prevailed: Local neighbourhoods grouping together to ensure those shielding got their shopping, people of all ages and walks of life raising funds for others and sacrifices of individual freedom on a scale not seen in many of our lifetimes.

Among the difficulty, the failures, and the disappointments, we can let these stories guide us on. Not the work of governmental bodies, the work of people. People doing the right thing, not because they were forced to, but simply because it was right.

What does this refreshed social attitude mean for businesses and brands?

As marketers and advertisers, we know how important it is to champion this attitude in all that we do. First and foremost, because we want to play a part in doing the right thing, but it would be naïve to ignore the business benefits that championing sustainable solutions can offer (there’s a reason greenwashing exists, after all).

In the wake of Covid-19, conscious consumerism is all the more prevalent. Since the pandemic, the personal and professional have more crossover than ever; We’ve been emboldened to ditch the commute and carve out days and routines that work for us. We know that things can change, and so we’re willing to demand more from big business.

As of 2021, nearly 1 in 3 consumers declared that they would stop putting their purchasing power behind brands because of concerns surrounding the company’s ethics and sustainability. That’s a huge number of people who are opting to change their lifestyle and habits for the greater good.

Beyond that, catering to the “woke” shopper can increase lifetime spend and brand loyalty. It’s a win-win (both for brands’ pockets and for the planet.)

Conscious consumers aren’t going anywhere. It’s time to accommodate them or lose out.

The question I want to ask is, where can we take this newfound sense of social responsibility that has been thrust upon us? We’re at a pivotal point. Will you hold yourself and those around you accountable: in fights against the climate crisis? Against institutional injustice? Against the rise in mis- and disinformation?

With many obstacles on the horizon, I hope we’ll take this spirit forth and work together to unite for better solutions for us all.

We at Media Bounty believe that it’s all our jobs to work towards a better future, on a personal and company-wide level. That’s why we work with CEOs, CMOs, and Marketing Leads to make a difference to our society and stay on the right side of history.

We love talking to likeminded folks and brands – to find out more about what we’re doing, drop us a line.

For more resources on being a conscious advertiser, visit the Conscious Advertising Network.