What has your brand done for your community lately? Most professionals get too caught up in the daily grind to answer that question with more than a sheepish, “nothing.”
But giving back to your locale is not only the right thing to do morally, but it can go a long way in establishing a positive image for your brand locally. After all, building trust with your neighbors can create a lot of good, repeat business.
So what can your business do to get involved?
A lot of companies set up community involvement boards or committees to identify community projects or local charities that mesh well with their brand’s mission. For smaller businesses, this can be as simple as a few team members in the office who meet every now and again to come up with ideas for donations or volunteer activities.
Volunteer! Planting trees with neighborhood groups, sponsoring summer barbeques, and having a presence at local events helps people put real, human faces to your brand. Few things can build trust among potential customers and supports like seeing the smiling faces of you and your employees getting and doing something positive.
Encourage members of your team to volunteer their time. Small rewards for lending a hand at food drives or supervising at relay races can prompt your fellow workers to get out and get involved. Many companies allow their employees to do volunteer work on the clock, and research shows that potential hires prefer companies that encourage community support.
Want some inexpensive advertising that will make you feel good at the same time? Try sponsoring local events. Local nonprofit organizations are always looking for funding help. Often, you will get your logo on promotional material and maybe a booth at an even.
Not only will you be helping out great causes, but you will get a little brand exposure as well. Remember, people often connect brands with where they see them. Getting your name next to a chili cook-off will probably make a more positive association than when it’s sandwiched in between competitors in a print ad (or the likeness).
The bottom line with community involvement is it’s a great way to build trust with your neighbors—who are likely your best potential customers. And it’s just a good thing to do for the place you call home!