“We have to start thinking about and working with the private sector.” That’s the counsel from John Bromely, director of the National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) to participants at NSMC’s Behavior Change and Corporate Responsibility conference in London this week.
Some 70 plus participants from the public and private sectors are considering the benefits, values, and indeed at times, challenges around socially responsible behavior-change programs led by companies or that engage companies as partners.
While some may question the motives or authority and credibility of corporate involvement, consider some of the benefits resulting from businesses as behavior change agents: Public/private partnerships can advance social progress, companies can be incubators of innovation and solutions, and the strength of brands can launch movements.
It’s a turbo-charge to traditional CSR to help move consumers from awareness to action–like eating healthier, taking medications regularly, or using less energy. These actions can drive market expansion, increase sales of drugs and optimize efficacy, and reduce operating costs.
The result is a three-pronged win-win-win. Individuals lead healthier and more productive lifestyles, society enjoys a more prosperous and enduring world, and companies see a measurable contribution to business performance.