Socially conscious businesses see rewards in more ways than one.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Running a socially-conscious business is usually good for business. Many consumers, especially Millennials, would rather do business with a company that gives back than one that doesn’t. But, according to MediaPost’s Marketing Daily blog, there could be an even bigger payoff for socially-conscious entrepreneurs.

The blog’s author, Tanya Gazdik, cites a report from JLJ Marketing on The Rise of the Consciousness Economy, which points out that consciousness is doing more than just driving consumer purchases. It also boosts profits and increases brand preferences.

Just what is the “consciousness economy”? It’s defined as “companies, products and services that embrace the collective awareness-driven mindset ‘that what’s good for the world is good for me.’”

“Consumers want health and happiness for themselves and good things for the world,” explains Jessica Joines, the founder and CEO of JLJ Marketing and the author of the report. “Smart brands recognize that consciousness is now actively informing purchase decisions and will shift their strategy appropriately to win hearts, [wallets] and loyalty.”

There are plenty of examples of companies that do good. My friend JJ Ramberg and her brother founded Good Search, a search engine that “gives” every time you search online, and Good Shop, where you can shop and give at the same time. Then there are the pioneers of socially-minded businesses, such as Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s.

But as the report indicates, being socially conscious does more than attract like-minded consumers: It can also make your small business more valuable. “The recent acquisition activity around Seventh Generation and The Honest Company shows that consciousness is driving up valuations,” Joines says. “The market has spoken—it’s time for brands to take action.”