A lot of businesses make good again on their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) by extending festive gestures to their customers and communities
Christmas is no doubt one of the most joyous seasons of the year worldwide. A festivity when people, businesses, Churches, in a state of euphoria are charged with the ‘spirit of giving’; even though the degree of the cheerful offerings keeps wobbling from year to year across the world including Nigeria.
As the economy slides, so also the quality and quantity of offers thins down. Nevertheless, the joy of Christmas is superlative; individuals and businesses are not deterred. Celebrations must go on with the minimal budget. Peace on earth, goodwill to families, friends, employees, customers, communities and all men including the less privileged apparently.
As Christmas approaches annually, a lot of businesses make good again on their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) by extending festive gestures to their customers and communities, while others fellow corporate citizens pretend they don’t know it is Christmas season, a period of giving.
The latter group argues against CSR. They are always quick to kick: “Times are hard, we must focus on the bottom line in order to survive”; “It’s the responsibility of the government to deal with social benefit, not business”; “CSR is just a Public Relations smokescreen”; “Financial benefits of CSR are hard to measure.” But these lines of reasoning betray the misconception that has often trailed Corporate Social Responsibility.
Some companies’ business models tend to solely focus on immediate financial performance. These models fail to consider key environmental, social or community factors that ultimately affect their long-term financial performance. A sound robust CSR can effectively boost customer relations. Building relationships with customers is the cornerstone of a successful company and having a social responsibility policy can impact the buying decisions of customers. Some customers are willing to pay more for a product if they know that the portion of the profit is going to worthy cause.
It is not easy to measure CSR performance using traditional indicators such as return on investment. Given the diverse nature of CSR initiative, it is impossible to separate their impact on a firm’s performance from social and economic benefits for the community. Taking the Reputation Index and its reported investment in CSR, research has proven that firms doing well financially actually have a high score on the Reputation Index. The benefits of CSR to companies include better brand recognition, positive business reputation that in turn increases sales and customer loyalty.
It strengthens ties, builds alliances and fosters strong relationships with stakeholders whose influences are instrumental to the smooth operations of the company. CSR is here to stay.
As government proves to be increasingly incapable of driving action in addressing societal needs, society is now looking to corporations for accountability for their impacts and leadership in tackling social challenges. Businesses are expected to participate in solving domestic and global issues; such as eradicating poverty, reforming education in addition to ensuring good roads and access to clean water. Companies are able to respond quickly in ways that the government simply could not.
One of the challenges in considering cases ‘for’ and ‘against’ CSR is the wide variety of definitions of CSR that people use. Often, some people misunderstand the term ‘responsibility’ to mean how the company carries out its core function – not simply about companies doing good in their respective communities.
CSR creates a competitive advantage, raises brand awareness and helps businesses develop trust with shareholders, customers and employees. Demonstrating that companies, customers and communities can thrive together is a powerful advantage.
CSR activities especially during the Christmas period reflect positively on the company, with consumers wanting to be associated with a company that participates in activities for the good of the community. Such giving has also been shown to increase staff loyalty and motivation. In Nigeria, some companies have over the years undertaken notable corporate social responsibility initiatives but one that particularly comes to mind in the yuletide time is Zenith Bank’s annual uncommon Christmas light project which has demonstrated in clear terms, how a corporate citizen can partner with the people in appreciating a cherished season. This bank has perfected the art of making Christmas sparkle with style and class.
For seven consecutive years, the Bank has continued to dazzle Lagosians with its matchless beautiful Christmas lightings and display. About four weeks ago, Zenith bank, again got emotional with
its yearly Christmas marketing communication. It transformed Ajose Adeogun roundabout into a spectacular Christmas wonderland in a more thrilling dimension. Yearly, the bank tells a story of Christmas through colourful installations of exciting scenes and imagery which triggers joy and smiles on faces of over hundreds people that either walk by or drive through these Victoria Island axis. The décor evokes peace, joy and beauty. Its luxurious feel and rich colour makes every piece look realistic and natural.
One of the most powerful things the world shares is the universal smile.
A smile can cut through all barriers. It knows no age, gender, social status, tribe, colour, religion or culture. A smile represents goodwill, affection and openness towards others. It communicates happiness and acceptance. It is one thing that connects and encompasses us all globally. A simple smile has more influential power than one may think. Smiling makes people around us feel good, happy and loved. It’s difficult to frown when one is smiling at you. Smiling promotes healthy living.
Zenith Bank has yet again played on the heartstrings of Lagosians that will no doubt level up its brand awareness and recognition. The bank has indeed fulfilled its goal of giving Nigerians and foreigners resident in the country the very best experience as well as a visually memorable display that resonates with the people and makes them happy. This bank is bound to receive benefits from these festive gestures.
Zenith bank has activated smile and the Nigerian people are smiling with the happy bank.
Enjoy the Christmas season!
…Eat ‘N’Go, Slum2School backs 1, 000 children to school
Eat’N’Go Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading food franchisee for Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery and Pinkberry Frozen Gourmet Yoghurt has rolled out the ‘Hope for Every Child, One Bite/ Scoop/Swirl At A Time’ initiative, in partnership with Slum2School Africa, a volunteer-driven developmental organization that provides quality education to disadvantaged children. With this collaboration Eat’N’Go aims to provide 1000 underserved Nigerian children with access to quality education through targeted funds raised from 1st December 2018 to 30th November 2019.
This initiative seeks to directly contribute 50 million naira generated from proceeds of select products from Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt. For every Cinnastix purchase from Domino’s Pizza, N100 will be donated to this cause, for every waffle purchased at Cold Stone Creamery N100 will also be given back while Pinkberry will donate N100 on every bubble waffle purchase.
Valued at N50,000 per child, these 1000 underserved kids will receive quality education including psychosocial support encompassing school needs such as; instructional materials, uniforms, shoes, books, excursions, medical support, extra-curricular classes, tech classes, teacher support, and more.
Speaking about the partnership, Patrick McMichael, Chief Executive Officer, Eat’N’Go Limited, said “At Eat’N’Go we are not only passionate about putting smiles on the faces of customers with our products, but also about improving the lives of the people in Nigeria. We believe that as individuals and corporate organisations, we have a collective role to play in improving the state of education in the country. We understand the value good quality education contributes to an economy and it is our responsibility to ensure we expand our support in partnership with NGOs like Slum2School who can help us achieve these goals. We are thankful for this opportunity to lend our support to the development of the educational system for children in Nigeria and we cannot wait to do even more.”
Commenting further, Otto Orondaam, Founder Slum2School Africa added “According to UNICEF, Nigeria records the largest number of out-of-school children in the world. This remains a looming threat to the economic prosperity, social security and developmental sustainability of the nation. Every child has a right to quality education, which is why we partner with organisations across the world to support as many disadvantaged children in Nigeria, as possible. We are grateful to be working with Eat’N’Go supporting our “Hope For Every Child” initiative, and we hope that in the coming years our goal would increase to cover thousands more.”
Through this collaboration Eat’N’Go is demonstrating a hands-on approach in combating one of the most challenging issues in Nigeria today, which is quality education for children. The organisation has further showcased its commitment to impacting Nigeria, and making it a better place one cause at a time.