Sponsor Microsite: FleishmanHillard
FleishmanHillard: Helping companies build partnerships
Globally, changing expectations have redefined business’s role in society. Social and environmental efforts that once set a brand apart from the crowd have become the minimum standard in the eyes of customers, current and prospective employees, investors and other stakeholders. But, at the same time, the potential to create shared value for a company and for society – by cultivating financial, human and natural resources for long-term success – is greater than ever.
Many companies assume that if their corporate reputation is fairly strong globally, then this will also be the case in Asia. However there is no such thing as a globally consistent reputation because what drives consumers’ hierarchy of needs can be quite different from one country to the next.
Not appreciating the value of corporate reputation can quickly put foreign companies at a disadvantage when doing business in Asia. It is therefore vital that companies understand the concept that what people say about you is just as important as what you say about yourself. With consumers demanding more attention, more conversation and more feedback every day, understanding and protecting your brand and reputation is critical.
In China for example CSR is of increasing importance. It is central to what the new Chinese leadership today views as essential to a harmonious and balanced society. China is increasingly moving away from an investment and export-driven model of development and more toward a sustainable, internally robust one. Historically, many companies in China assumed that corporate gift giving would be enough to secure a favorable narrative; today, however, companies must realize this is a market with few silent stakeholders. Being a successful business in the mainland is as much about what you do you in terms of people and communities as it is about making those tangible investments.
Build success through shared value
As the Chinese government pushes for a more balanced society and consumer expectations continue to mature, the relationship between consumers and companies will become even more complex. People’s attitudes will change and so will basic tenents of the corporate world. Ensuring that the concept of shared corporate value is at the heart of your business strategy will help build success; localizing it will make it sustainable.
Today’s most enlightened, innovative brands are connecting their propositions with compelling, relevant and localized social issues, and actively engaging consumers in the cause. They are learning how to embrace a social benefit that also boosts their selling proposition.
As strategic partners, FleishmanHillard helps companies build strategies and partnerships that enable them to build trust and deepen loyalty, instill a greater sense of purpose in their employees, enhance their reputation, expand their license to operate and ultimately meet their business objectives.
In Asian markets where many companies are just embarking on their CSR journey creating shared value presents an opportunity to do something far greater impact, for both society and their business.