Branding has undergone massive changes over the last few years. A brand goes beyond the picture or logo identity we use to identity one business from another. Brands have evolved to become public personas in what they stand for and represent.
The design and creation of a brand is a multi-level process. How you choose to showcase your business will determine many things. First and foremost, it acts as a bridge between you and your customers.
Your brand should showcase how you can help customers and make their lives better. But it’s more than that. Your brand shows how you can help communities and wider society. Brands now show how they can help the planet.
Starbucks is a great example of how a brand has committed to being ethically responsible and supporting the best interest of its vendors and clients.
Starbucks follows its Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E) approach. This approach includes key concepts like social responsibility and environmental leadership. It ensures that Starbucks uses only ethically sourced coffee, with fair payment to coffee farmers while being committed to supporting and developing sustainable farming methods.
Social Responsibility in Design.
The design of brands is guided by the heart and values of the company they represent. Given the rise in green consumerism in the past few years it has become important for brands to lead and show their customers how they take important issues such as climate change and sustainability seriously.
Branding that supports environmental and political consciousness influences how consumers view the world around them. Global brands have a responsibility and can shape the habits of consumers and contribute to a greener future. Beyond Meat is entirely based on the premise of preventing the environmental damage caused by the meat industry by providing consumers with plant-based alternatives.
What is socially responsible design? (SRD)
Simply put, this is the use of design to address environmental, political, and social issues. The goal of SRD is to create an ethical and holistic approach to designing brands that consider the cultural and humanitarian values of the society they function in.
Why is it important? Socially responsible design can foster growth and inspire activism in consumers. Alternatively known as brand activism, it can be a catalyst for great change. Ben & Jerry’s in Austria refused to serve two scoops of ice cream of the same flavour to any customer until LGBTQ marriage was legalized in the country.
How do we as designers foster social responsibility?
As designers and thinkers we have a responsibility to shape brands that will translate the ethics into a moving message for consumers. We should be positioned to consider business functions in society and the environmental and political issues that a business can influence.
We believe brands can be a source of positivity and growth and something that can inspire customers to improve and better their lives.
Lets discuss values and business and their impact on socially responsible design.
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