Social Impact in Retail: Integrating Purpose into Products

Discover how Jewlr gets their jewelry business involved in direct response fundraising and how they overcome obstacles to message their social impact initiatives in a responsible way.

Special Guest: Daniel Stoppel; Chief Executive Officer at Jewlr.

On this episode of the Impact Exchange, we were joined by Daniel Stoppel, Chief Executive Officer at Jewlr, to discuss how Jewlr is integrating social impact into their products, mission, and marketing messaging. As a personalized jewelry retailer that designs and manufactures their own jewelry, Jewlr has the opportunity to curate products that are specifically linked to various causes.

Daniel shared insights into Jewlr's origin story, their commitment to social causes, and the challenges and opportunities of incorporating social impact into the retail industry.

Listen to the podcast to learn more about Daniel’s perspective on the following:

  • How Jewlr successfully engages in direct response fundraising.
  • How to message social impact initiatives in a responsible way.
  • Where social impact in the world of retail is headed.

Listen to The Impact Exchange Podcast:

How Jewlr Uses Their Design and Manufacturing Processes as a Social Impact Lever

While many retailers rely on inventory coming in from around the globe, Jewlr takes a different approach to manufacturing. Daniel explains that Jewlr’s approach to designing and manufacturing their own products puts them at a unique advantage to curate personalized jewelry that corresponds to their social impact initiatives. 

This approach to product development enables Jewlr to not only integrate social impact into their products, but also empowers them to get involved in direct response fundraising. 

Molly Trerotola: Direct response fundraising in particular is a social impact effort that not a lot of companies have mastered because of the complexity of aligning products and a non-profit partnership. How have you been able to identify non-profit beneficiaries and get an initiative like this off the ground very quickly so that you can respond to these events, social, political, economic, sustainability events?

Daniel Stoppel: It's actually a challenge to be honest, because we're a relatively small team and we don't have a whole division of people working on this stuff day in and day out. For us it's making sure credibility is number one. So we need to find a credible partner and we want to make sure that we convey that to our customers. 

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jewlr quickly enabled a direct response fundraising strategy to support the Red Cross teams that were on the ground in Ukraine and provide humanitarian aid to those affected. 

Source: Jewlr

They launched a jewelry collection of 10 unique products that featured Ukrainian symbols and at the launch of this collection, 100% of proceeds were donated to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal— a fund created by the Red Cross.

Direct response fundraising is a powerful way for businesses to directly connect with their customers and stakeholders, creating a sense of community and shared purpose. By actively engaging in fundraising efforts, businesses can contribute to the betterment of society and address critical issues that align with their values and mission. 

Furthermore, it demonstrates their commitment to social responsibility and showcases their willingness to use their resources and influence for the greater good. By actively supporting causes as they arise in real time, businesses can build stronger relationships, foster customer loyalty, and differentiate themselves in a crowded market. 

Messaging Social Impact Initiatives in a Responsible Way

When getting a business involved in pressing societal causes, ensuring that the messaging around their initiatives is genuine is vital to the success of those efforts. Socially conscious consumers can be skeptical of a brand’s involvement in a charitable cause, and for good reason. In the instance of greenwashing, a recent study found that 40% of companies making claims about being ‘green’ are misleading.

Daniel acknowledged the challenges of effectively conveying their social impact initiatives to their customers. 

Molly Trerotola: You mentioned something in a previous answer about authenticity in social impact, and I think again, that's something that companies struggle with— is how to message their social impact initiatives accurately in a responsible way. How can you make sure that your message to customers is authentic and trustworthy?

Daniel Stoppel: Yeah that's a challenge. We're building custom landing pages and getting the right copy and creative from the charity, if that's available. Making sure that it passes their compliance checks and making sure we are messaging the right story.

Daniel shares that the biggest part of the challenge is conveying their social impact initiatives in the right place and at the right point in the customer's journey on their website. To navigate this, Jewlr features a dedicated page on their website that shares the story of how and why they give back.

Source: Jewlr

By focusing on building custom landing pages around their efforts and collaborating with credible nonprofit organizations, Jewlr is able to authentically communicate their commitment to social impact in a transparent and genuine manner. 

For brands looking to integrate social impact into their operations, finding causes that genuinely resonate with the company, its employees, and its customers is important. By aligning a cause with a brand's values and core competencies, businesses can best ensure authenticity in their efforts and garner stronger buy-in from their brand community.

Predictions for the Future of Social Impact in Retail

While social impact continues to grow in popularity as more consumers demand that businesses operate for more than a profit, the landscape of social impact in retail is constantly evolving. Daniel shared his thoughts on trends he’s noticed in the retail industry and his predictions for the future of social impact within retail.

Molly Trerotola: What are some trends that you've noticed in the retail space? From a place where social impact was a nice to have, all the way to what your company is doing today, where it's so deeply embedded in your product and mission and messaging, what's the future look like for you?

Daniel Stoppel: Yeah I've noticed some more inline requests from the end consumer. So for example something that I think we were all used to is when you're at the grocery store and they ask you for a dollar for their cause, and that’s essentially the checkout or cart on an eComm store. And I've seen more and more of that where it's just adding a dollar with a simple checkbox or you can choose how much to donate. 

Daniel explains that in the past, retailers have been skeptical about adding anything to their cart or checkout page in fear of losing conversions. However, he mentions that he’s noticed a recent shift where businesses are more confident about asking for donations at the checkout, and are becoming more focused on creating a positive impact. 

This shift indicates a willingness to be more proactive and socially responsible, even if there might be potential conversion loss. Looking ahead, Daniel sees a future where more retailers confidently incorporate social impact into their business models. 

Jewlr's success in integrating social impact into their business serves as an inspiring example for other brands. By leveraging their design and manufacturing capabilities, Jewlr has been able to respond quickly to social events and create more meaningful products that align with specific causes. Additionally, through authentic messaging and collaboration with credible partners, Jewlr has gained the support of their customers and established themselves as a trusted socially responsible brand. 

We hope you enjoy this episode of The Impact Exchange, until next time...stay healthy, stay mindful, and create impact.

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