The more and more advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) become readily available, the cheaper they will become to adopt. Regardless of industry, size, or market, businesses of all types will soon start to realise the potential of these new technologies and will subsequently start rapidly incorporating them into their existing business practices for fear of lagging behind their competitors. As a result, previously high technological barriers to entry that used to safeguard incumbent businesses from new competitors will start to fall, and we will see more and more business starting to rely on similar technologies that will ultimately yield the production of similar services/products.
Therefore, how are you - the consumer - expected to decide between which company to purchase your product/service from when there are so many similar, competing companies to choose from? Perhaps you could base your decision on the previous experiences you’ve had with specific companies, otherwise known as customer loyalty? Nope, the evidence suggests that there has been a rapid decline in brand loyalty brought about by changes in the philosophy of buying. Maybe you could simply go for the cheapest option? Again, nope, this option will become harder to do because as the technologies become cheaper, the costs of production will also fall and will be accompanied by the decline in the associated prices of those products/services.
So, what will prove to be one of the main considerations when deciding on what to buy? One increasingly important factor that consumers have started considering when deciding on what company to purchase from has been the extent to which a company gives back to its community - otherwise known as corporate social responsibility (CSR).
In a survey undertaken in 2010, Do Well Do Good, LLC identified that when it came to the average American consumer, over 88% of consumers thought that companies should try to achieve their business goals while also improving the society and environment surrounding them. Furthermore 83% of consumers thought companies should support charities and nonprofits with financial donations. It was also established that the average American consumer was more likely to drive nearly 11 minutes out of his/her way to buy a cause-marketing product.
CSR? I’ve heard of that, but what exactly is it?
According to the University of Edinburgh, CSR can be defined as the way in which companies ‘conduct their business in a way that it ethical. This means taking account of their social, economic and environmental impact, and consideration of human rights.’ As part of this, companies are expected to engage in a range of self-initiated activities such as; working in partnerships with local communities, developing relationships with employees and customers, environmental protection and sustainability initiatives, and charity fundraising.
With its roots going as far back as 1916 when J. Maurice Clark wrote in the Journal of Political Economy that, ‘if men are responsible for the known results of their actions, business responsibilities must include the known results of business dealings, whether these have been recognized by law or not’, the notion of CSR has been around for over a century. Despite having been around for so long, CSR has only recently gained substantial importance in the corporate sphere as new figures suggest that there has recently been a significant upsurge in a number of companies adopting proactive CSR policies. The majority of these companies have undertaken activities such as donating money to community causes/charities or participating in community charity activities, to name a few.
Okay, cool! So what are you guys doing about it?
When developing any software related product, it is always crucial to remember that this industry is all about people. Not only the people who develop the software but also those who will ultimately use it. As a result, all of us who work here at Gluru are here because we care about people, and are passionate about creating smart software that enables business and individuals alike to be as productive as possible by achieving more in less time.
Ever since we were founded in 2014, our manifesto has remained the same - to make humanity more productive. Through our continued commitment towards creating software that streamlines the professional and personal productivity of all our users, we remain one of the leading AI startups founded on strict and ethical data handling policies and with a responsibility to promote positive change. However, our commitment to helping others doesn’t start and end with our technology.
Not only do we have a paperless company culture that involves conducting all of our business online and hardly ever printing out documents, but we are also committed to raising money for various amazing charities. For example, on the 14th of May 2017, almost half of all the staff at Gluru took part in the London Superhero Charity Run in order to raise funds for the World Cancer Research Fund UK (WCRF UK). Having set ourselves a modest fundraising target of £500, not only did we manage to meet this target well before the run, but we actually exceeded it by raising £660.58!
With Cancer currently accounting for roughly 29% of the total deaths in the UK (2011), the sad reality was that many of us in the office had either directly lost someone to Cancer, or knew of someone who had - thus providing us with the motivation to take up this cause. For many of us, the fact that Cancer had caused so much grief to our immediate families and of the families we knew, our desire to raise as much money as possible for those actively researching ways of combating it, acted as our inspiration and encouragement when conducting our fundraising efforts.
Having now established a close relationship with our friends at the WCRF UK, we are already in the process of together, identifying future charity fundraising events that Gluru can take part in. For now, if you would still like to donate towards live WCRF UK JustGiving page, you can do so by clicking here. If you would like to find out more about our commitment towards giving back to the community, then please feel free to email us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.