One of the coolest developments in the business world in the past 10 years or so has been the rise of compassionate consumerism – i.e., businesses that actively try to do good in the world and include social or environmental causes as a fundamental component of their business model.

Case in point – 1:Face Watch:

1-Face Watch

This company makes very cool-looking watches and donates a portion from each sale to a variety of social and environmental causes. The watches come in a variety of colours, each of which corresponds to a different cause so buyers can choose to purchase the watch that supports the cause they feel most strongly about.

Best of all, the watches cost only $50 so you can get a funky accessory and support a good cause without dropping a ton of cash on it.

Cause marketing: the future of business?

As businesses struggle to compete in an increasingly global economy, I believe that the ones that stand the greatest chance of succeeding will be the ethical companies that actively try to make the world a better place. Consumers are becoming increasingly educated about environmental issues and social problems around the globe and are beginning to realize that “cheapest” doesn’t always (or ever?) mean “best.”

There are many other factors that motivate people to choose one company over another when it comes to making a buying decision – such as the company’s online reputation and “brand personality” (i.e., what the company stands for.) A growing number of consumers would prefer to support a business that makes them feel like they’re giving back to the community with each purchase they make.

After all, with everything else being equal, which company would you rather buy from – one that devotes a portion of its earnings to saving the environment and making people’s lives better, or one that gives zero indication that they’re concerned about anything beyond their bottom line?

Are you an ethical business/consumer?

Is your business model based on giving back to the community in some way? Or, as a consumer, are your buying decisions based on the impact your purchase will have on the environment or society? If so, let us know – we’d love to feature more examples of ethical businesses and consumerism in future articles!