Doing Well by Doing Good: 5 Reasons Why it Works

“Do well by doing good.”

The phrase has a deep meaning during this time in human history. In a nutshell, it means that companies that do good (i.e., help out during the Coronacrisis) will do well (i.e., make money and thrive).

This is counter-intuitive. Logically, you would not help out during a recession: you would lay off workers, conserve your remaining cash, and “hunker down,” to use an unfortunate phrase.

Here are a few reasons why the opposite is true.

Your name gets out there. Many of our clients are setting up Coronavirus Resource Centers. Suddenly they move from passive observers to active solution providers. Helping out injects you into the conversation. People notice.

The “Halo Effect.” This is a phrase coined by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman in his terrific book Thinking, Fast and Slow. When we first see people (and companies) in a positive light, it is difficult to darken that light later. Helping out gives you a “brand halo.”

People will remember how you behaved in this time of crisis. That goes for CEOs, co-workers, teachers, family members, and roommates. Every day we are seeing what people, companies, and countries are truly made of. People will remember.

It stretches your sense of the possible. Thawrih, a company that makes sport hijabs for Muslim and Sikh athletes, has pivoted to creating COVID-19 masks. They’re crushing it on publicity, and can’t keep up with the new business. Many of those new customers will keep ordering, even after the crisis.

Face mask

Helping out feels good. It is a great way of turning anxiety into action: doing something positive to help your fellow humans during a difficult time.

“The arc of history is all about companies that had social ambitions as well as commercial benchmarks,” says Nancy Koehn, Professor and Historian at Harvard Business School. Early American business magnates like Milton Hershey and Henry Heinz, she points out, built entire communities to feed and house their workers. They weren’t doing this to be nice guys, “they were doing it because what was doing well for society was also very good for business.”

In other words, we don’t do it because we want to grow the business, we do it because it’s the right thing to do. But by growing your sense of service, you’re more likely to grow your business. Doing good = doing well.


New Infographics: Free to Use, Free to Share

Our research and design team is hard at work producing new Coronavirus infographics using only trusted, reliable data sources. These high-quality graphics are copyright-free: you may use them for your website, blogs, or newsletters.

Coronavirus search queries chart
This infographic shows the top Coronavirus-related search queries in March 2020 across the United States.



Restaurants near me
Note how people eat out primarily on weekends (the “heartbeat”), peaking on Valentine’s Day, and dropping off in March.



COVID-19 trends
Alaska has a low Coronavirus case count, but an awful lot of people worried about the symptoms.


5 Business Best Practices During the Coronacrisis:

> Do well by doing good: Look for ways your company can contribute to the Coronacrisis.

> Keep a routine. Each morning, shower, shave, and put on a dress shirt.

> Look for small wins. Celebrate the small stuff.

> Remember that everything is temporary — including this time in history.

> Spend 10% of your time helping others.

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