In today’s continuously connected world, companies might find it difficult to keep their CSR “dirty laundry” secret for very long. Technology is making it even easier to find out what’s really behind the products we buy and with 78 percent of Americans willing to stop buying products with misleading environmental claims, the stakes for companies to not only behave responsibly, but communicate transparently, have never been higher.
The newest development in a slew of transparency-related apps is Buycott, an app that empowers consumers to purchase brands that share their personal values. The app’s website explains, “With Buycott, a campaign can be quickly created around a cause, with the goal of targeting companies with a boycott unless they change their position, or buycotting a company to show your support.” In the store, consumers use the app to scan a product barcode revealing information about the brand, company, and even parent company, behind the product. The app goes so far as to clearly state at the top of the screen, “You’re avoiding this brand” if the company’s values do not align with the user’s supported campaigns.
Apps like Buycott take the legwork out of unearthing sometimes hard-to-find company information, giving consumers a new way to signal their approval of, or opposition to, specific business practices. Companies will now be held at a higher level of accountability as even the actions of a parent company can be easily accessible to consumers as they shop. Will your brand stand up to this new level of consumer scrutiny?