If you are looking for an easy way to instantly increase your credibility and likeability within your community of consumers, you may want to consider connecting your brand with a cause. In doing so, your philanthropic affiliation should become a pillar of your company name. People should not be able to think of your business without thinking of your “cause.” On your advertising, business cards, packaging, or anywhere else feasible, your cause should be included.
For example, consider what Toms has done with shoes. Ask anyone familiar with the brand and they will be able to instantly tell you that for every pair of shoes sold, another pair of shoes goes to a child in need. On their company website, they have pictures and videos and bios of the people they’ve impacted through their shoe giving. As a result, their business has boomed.
A note must be made here, though: don’t get involved with a cause just to build your brand. If you are not in it to make a difference, your insincerity will fall short and show through your facade. This is why it is so important to find something you are passionate about and support a related organization. Think of it as creating good Karma by helping others, and this Karma then comes back and helps you out with your business.
Why Causes Work
What a supported cause does for your company is that it gives people an automatic reason to like you. If they are in any way affiliated with the same type of group, then they will want to support you because you also support their special group. This doesn’t just earn you one customer. This earns you customers who approve of your ideal, their friends and family, their extended social media friends (if they happen to Tweet or Facebook about you), and all other members of that affiliation. There’s a whole network of people who will likely do free word-of-mouth marketing for you.
Connecting with a cause can also encourage a sale for those not directly interested in what you support. Because you are involved with a feel-good cause, they are likely to be much more inclined to purchase with you. Take the Toms example above. A consumer may not have a burning passion to help those in need get shoes, but because Toms is doing something good, the consumer is far more likely to support them.
Finding Your Cause
When choosing an ideal cause to support, think about choosing something that you feel passionate about (as mentioned above) but that also relates in some way to your company. For instance, it wouldn’t have made much sense for Toms shoes to have donated a pair of mittens for every pair of shoes sold. They don’t sell mittens. They sell shoes. So the owner(s) of Toms have found a passion (children in need) and related it to their business (donating shoes).
In the same way, it would make sense to support an animal rights group if you sell all-natural makeup not tested on animals. Or if you own an accessories craft business and have a passion for helping 3rd world countries, you could support an organization that clothes and feeds orphans in Africa. Sit down and consider what your company stands for or what you produce. Then, from there, look for different groups that fit within those parameters.
More to think about when marketing your new affiliation is to try and work in your new supported ideal into your slogan or company name. For example, if Target were to support breast cancer, they could say “Targeting new solutions for cancer.” If you can find a way to integrate your name or your slogan and your cause, it will make your connection much more memorable to your customer base.
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What causes have you seen that inspired you to work with a particular brand? Ever find a brand/cause connection that made no sense whatsoever? We would love to hear your thoughts, so don’t be shy and comment below! Please don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS-feed or follow Inspirationfeed on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook! If you enjoyed the following article we humbly ask you to comment, and help us spread the word!