Social acceptance – the new big thing

I was reading the Ernst & Young 2010 business risk report this week and one of the new business risks for companies identified for this year is ‘Social acceptance risk and corporate social responsibility’.

‘Social acceptance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have become increasingly important over the last decade and it is not a surprise to find this risk entering the top 10 this year. In the current business climate, where there are continuing reputational threats and a rising political backlash, firms will need to tread carefully to maintain (or rebuild) the trust of the public. (New this year.)’

This seems like common sense. People buy into company brands and the way people feel about brands is emotional. Brands need to ensure that they stand for something that people can buy into whether they are saving the planet or making people feel better about themselves. So if you have a company/organisation/brand that is socially acceptable and responsible you have a USP and competitive edge over the companies that are not perceived as socially acceptable or responsible.

New start-up companies like Evolve Media present a great opportunity for corporates to tap into old audiences or consumers in a new way from a different angle. Evolve Media are a company that cater to ‘plus size’ women – let’s just say the full figure woman. They are launching an online magazine on 31 August which will feature articles and images reflective of today’s woman.

Approx. 6.4 million women are over size 18. 1/3 of women if not more don’t like the way they look. Evolve provides a home to help raise people’s self-esteem and champion the message – Be Proud…Be You. Beautiful women who are representative of most women. This isn’t a marginalised community – it is actually mainstream. Read the news! Look around. Plus size is standard size!

This week whilst doing some work for my Ardyss business in Stratford, a young girl who couldn’t be more than 16 years old and about a size 24. Her mother came and looked at our Body Magic garment which reduces you 2-3 sizes in 10 minutes. She said that is was impossible it can’t reduce you 2-3 dress sizes in 10 minutes. She had never tried it but she was adamant that it didn’t work.

She was really angry – for good reason. She was going through a lot of pain trying to help her daughter (who happened to be really pretty) lose weight. After we told her the science of the garment she wasn’t convinced but she calmed down and we all had a conversation. The young girl was really shy and her mother told us that they had tried everything. Their doctor had recommended she have a gastric bypass on the NHS or go under the knife for some other weight loss surgery. The doctor had also given her some tablets. As you can imagine we were shocked that they would put a young girl under the knife and she hadn’t got out of puberty yet.

Her mother said she tried the gym but after the first week her daughter doesn’t go back because no one looks like her in the gym and she feels like she is being looked at and judged. She said that she also loves swimming but doesn’t want to go in the pool with out clothes. The young girl looked distressed when she first came to our stand (I can understand why with your mother telling everyone your business) as we talked and laughed she started to relax. We gave her some free samples of our Le vive drink to try. We also mentioned that we knew of women only gym sessions run by Fitness First. When we mentioned Evolve magazine. Her eyes lit up.

I told her that Evolve recently had a fashion show with pretty girls that looked like her. They had a makeover, got to wear designer clothes. She looked at me in disbelief. We told her to check out the facebook group and send me an email so I can send her a link to the magazine when it comes out. I don’t know if she will get in contact but I know that when her and her mother left the stand they were laughing and smiling rather than looking as angry, frustrated and vex as they did when they first approached us.

They wanted help but they didn’t know where to look. Evolve fills that gap. It’s not just a magazine packed with great articles and fashion tips, it’s a resource to help people to find simple solutions for modern-day lifestyle needs. We all have the right to Be Proud…Be You

Join the Evolve Facebook group to find out more —-> EVOLVE FACEBOOK GROUP