Great Brands That Compete On Value: Support Their Community
Last month I covered the importance of establishing a strong brand identity in the marketplace by spreading the word about your business, focusing specifically on topics within the category of Business News. It probably came as no great surprise to any of our readers that a business’s news has the potential to reach a multitude of other business professionals as well as consumers in the area. What we’ve found about our readership is that many from all different walks of life have come to rely on our publication for the latest on what’s happening here in our local business community. What they all share in common is that geography; they are all stakeholders affected by what goes on in their community.
Which leads me to the following points:
- There’s more to sharing your news than you might think; and
- There are many types of news that are beneficial to share. (After all, it’s no coincidence that you’ll find four distinct news sections prominently showcased in every issue of Strictly Business.) As for the first, PR is center stage among the best strategies one could employ to place the emphasis squarely on the value of his/her business’s offerings as opposed to leading with and focusing on the promotion of price alone. Concerning the second, great brands have a positive impact on their community in more ways than fulfilling a need and boosting its economy.
While Lewis Carroll is famously quoted as saying “One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others,” today it’s not much of a secret anymore, and that’s an amazing thing to witness. We are lucky to live, work, and do business in a community that is strong in its values, particularly when it comes to giving back. While what an organization does to improve itself for the benefit of its current and potential customers is indeed noteworthy, what it does to improve the world around us and to support its neighbors in the community speaks volumes. With Give to Lincoln Day this month (May 18th folks – mark your calendars, set an alarm!), this is the perfect time to highlight the benefit of involvement in the community, and sharing that news with others.
Partnering with local non-profits allows businesses to play an important role in the betterment of the community as a whole, which enhances a brand significantly. Here in Lincoln, there are so many ways to get involved and you could support any number of causes to help enhance the quality of life for us all. We truly can – and do – think globally and act locally here.
The beneficial byproducts of promoting philanthropic efforts can be seen in the following areas that are critical to the success of a business: customer/brand loyalty; recruiting, morale, engagement and retention of top employees; attracting new customers; creating and cultivating business partnerships/relationships. Overall, generating recognition supports your efforts to achieve and maintain top-of-mind awareness and influence purchasing decisions (we generally do business with those we know and like, especially those whose support for causes aligns with what’s most important to us). And I think we can all agree, with so much negativity in the media these days, it is heartwarming to read about positive things that our fellow businesspeople are doing right here in our corner of the world. Bruce Burtch, dubbed the Father of Cause Marketing and author of Win Win for the Greater Good, hits the nail on the head in the webinar How to Orchestrate Successful Cross-Sector Partnerships: “There is nothing in business today that provides as much economic and social benefit, on as many levels, to as many stakeholders, as a strategic partnership between any combination of the nonprofit, for-profit, education and government sectors when focused on the greater good. Nothing else comes even close.”
No matter the type or size of business, there’s a way you and your team can make an impact. You could host a fundraiser or charity event (or team up to organize one), volunteer as a group or individually, support as a sponsor, participate in any number of events/activities held in support of our local non-profits, make a donation or establish a grant program, offer to do pro bono work – and the list goes on from there. Then, let people know how you’re giving back and encourage them to get involved and do the same!