In most industries it’s not enough any more to simply put a product or service on the market and assume people will find you. Customers want more. They want more value for their money. More of a reason to buy from you and not your competitor. That ‘more’ doesn’t have to be in hard costs and affect your bottom line. You don’t have to add services, add product or discount your prices to stay in the game for your customers’ business. Using charitable / cause marketing is a great way to provide the ‘more’ your clients are after while brand building. Let me explain.
What many consumers crave is a deeper connection with the businesses where they spend their money. That’s one of the reasons why they are friending you or liking your business on Facebook, following you on Twitter, signing up for your email newsletter and reading your blog. They want more of you, and they also want to know that you stand for something. They need to see there is substance behind the person or the business. For example, Method cleaning products and Paul Newman’s salad dressing have closely aligned their products with a cause or a charity. Clients use their products because they share the values of these two companies. Despite being large corporations, they have been able to do what many businesses can’t – connect on a deeper level with their customers. While you may not be able to donate a large portion of your earnings to charity as some large corporations do, as a small business owner you can show your clients that you stand for something more than a profit.
What does your business value? Why are you in business beyond earning a living? Is there a higher purpose that drives you? Do you live for the times you can give back to your community?
Don’t settle for being a business that doesn’t take the connection to the level customers crave. I challenge you to move beyond the surface. If you don’t see your customers out and about or talk to them often, use free social media tools to understand what is important to them. These free tools allow you to dig in to their lives. You begin to understand what makes them happy. What gets their pulse racing. What makes them proud. How they spend their free time. Where they volunteer.
When you truly know what your customers believe in, you can form the deeper connection they desire because you begin to truly understand them. You can find charities to work with who share your values and those of your clients. The first step – find what your business stands for today.