06 Dec CSR as the “Catalytic Differentiator” for a respected IT business.
At a recent presentation to a group of business leaders managing SME’s in the construction, distribution, accounting & IT markets, one of the Global Impact team explained more fully the uniqueness of the Global Impact offering against the background of an interesting case study.
But first, the key problem needing to be addressed:
“For most businesses, the complexity of attracting & retaining customers, while also attracting and retaining good people to deal with those customers, is a constant struggle.”
In contrast, successful operations we admire tend to be better at these vital functions & it is therefore no surprise these businesses tend to surpass expectations. And the glue to this winning combination tends to be characterised by “distinctiveness”; that special quality making one company stand-out uniquely from the rest.
As a result, these “distinctive” businesses tends to;
· Win more orders than the competition
· Lose fewer customers than the competition
· Attract better staff than the competition
· Appeal to them more readily & reliably
· Retain their good people for longer than the competition
Our experience with reputable clients shows that while the road to becoming distinctive can be a long one, the toughest step to take is the first. And that is where the input of the Global team makes its first mark.
A Case Study – CSR as a Key Commercial Differentiator
Working for an initial 9 months with a general IT support provider, we quickly identified a glaring truth to their offering; although they had; a) technically talented support technicians, b) a focused management structure with effective processes & c) a motivated sales-force, there was no “evidence” of distinctiveness that customers, and both current & future recruits, could plug-into. In short, this client appeared no different to the competition and was therefore viewed as being no better than the alternatives.
What they clearly needed was what we define as a “catalytic differentiator”; an original, exciting, memorable part of the company’s story telling the listener that this IT provider was identifiably distinct, and provably different, from the competition.
So how did Global Impact achieve that?
Building on the inherent qualities already embedded in the client’s business, we helped the company adopt, integrate & harness a Social Responsibility Project into the company’s very fabric, which made them instantly distinctive while also reflecting both their ethos and their interests. Through subtle & appropriate marketing, both external & internal, and incorporating their SR project into every sales and recruitment scenario, we ensured the company screamed “unique”, “ethical”, “trustworthy”, but more than anything, “different”.
And their SR Project?
The company took on the funding of a physiotherapist at a centre for disabled children near Kampala, involving a modest investment of €900 per month.
So how does Global Impact go about its work?
Working with well-established clients our role is to first create & secondly highlight the S.R. differentiator, further developing what you know already, that your business is unique.
As a proven model, our initial work involves the following 4 key elements;
1. Uncovering and developing bespoke SR (Social Responsibility) Projects for the client. These projects are designed to; a) create real, measurable benefit “on-the-ground” for the project itself & b) embed in the business & it’s brand a clearly defined ethical & cultural “differentiator” that customers cannot ignore.
2. Managing a client’s S.R. project to conclusion & delivery including project updates, videos, pictures, news-feeds and other marketable information.
3. Manage and audit the client’s investment, channeling funds through registered charities.
4. Guiding the client’s management, as well as its PR & marketing operation, on the best way to utilise the company’s SR project via marketing, social media feeds, field-sales activity, brand realignment, staff launches, product launches, exhibitions & events.