Does building your brand seem like a large undertaking? It doesn’t have to!
Giving back to your community is a way many small business owners can have success in building their brand without a large financial commitment or complicated branding strategy.
One benefit is customer loyalty. Customers are increasingly more intentional about doing business with companies that give back. Those customers also become advocates for your business within the community.
Another benefit is name recognition. When your businesses' name is associated with good things happening in your community it builds your brand.
The result is your business is recognized for its contributions, is top of mind for customers, and has employees proud to work for a business that cares about its people and community.
How about you personally? When you are passionate about your business giving back to the community, you gain a sense of pride and success that overflows to your customers and employees.
So how do you get started? A plan that is simple and easy is best and there are several ways to keep it that way.
First, find your passion. What are you passionate about in your community that you want to be better than it is now? Food banks, coat drives, and park enhancements are a few ideas that can work for small businesses.
When you find your passion, there are simple ways to get your business involved, such as:
Partner with other Businesses – Find another business owner that shares the same passion, values and beliefs on giving back to the community, then partner with them to execute your idea. A partnership can expand your resources to execute an idea. In addition, the other business will be promoting the idea, giving your brand increased exposure.
- Example: Ask a hardware store to provide materials for a play set constructed by your employees for a local community park.
Promote – Adding a donation link to your website, placing a donation jar within your business, or holding a special charity-focused sale can help promote the cause and your business at the same time.
- Example: Hold a sale where you donate a portion of your revenues during a period of time.
Plan an Event – Plan and organize your own fund-raising event. By taking on a cause yourself, your business can lead the effort to make a difference in your community and have better brand visibility throughout the event. There are multiple low cost or free apps and on-line resources available to guide you through a successful event.
- Example: Create a five mile walk to raise money for the cause you are passionate about.
Donate Time – Volunteering allows you and your team to make valuable connections within the community. This exposes more people to who you are and what your business does. Donate your own time on behalf of your business. Or, give your employees time-off to volunteer. If feasible, have several employees volunteer at the same time at the same place.
- Example: Form a team of employees to work as a crew for a home-building charity, or to work a non-profit event.
However you choose to support your community, make sure you tell your customers about it. Writing a blog post, sending a press release to the media and sharing the news on your social media channels are all ways to spread the word and spotlight your brand.
When your business gives back to the community and you are passionate about the cause, your business will see the benefits of increased brand awareness. A win/win for you, your business and your community.