Effective marketing always points toward telling a better story leading to more sales. To be sure, great storytelling and increased sales are part of marketing success. Additionally, awareness benefits an organization in several ways. Furthermore, marketing initiatives that successfully communicate a business’ attributes to their marketplace specifically benefit from more customers. Also, having the right partner to validate the business’ total value helps. Factor in that marketers simply have more fun. Then, the opportunity to do well and do good is irresistible. A clever solution is partnering with nonprofit organizations. Even marketers who cannot take their eye off the revenue line can see the advantages. What’s the downside of more legitimate prospects who want to connect with the business emotionally?
Marketing’s primary responsibility is communication with a business purpose. When communication extends beyond the company’s product or service into impacting a greater good, a more powerful story surfaces. Businesses often partner with nonprofit organizations to achieve super-sized impact in the marketplace’s consciousness. Awareness becomes both social- and product– driven. A classic example features popular five-kilometer (and longer) runs. A nonprofit organization in a specific community hosts the event in an area where they serve. Sponsors invest advertising funds on shirts and other paraphernalia for the event associated with the cause. The community’s local vendors prepare for the influx of hundreds, if not thousands of visitors, to their doorstep. Vendors benefit from the organization’s goodwill and the event sponsors’ philanthropic attention. And, deep-pocketed visitors invade the community for exercising, socializing, and shopping. Smart retailers are too eager to connect with and serve an influx of highly sociable, community-minded visitors landing on their doorstep.
The vendor still gets more! They associate with a spirit of social responsibility promoted by the event. Their brand benefits from an image of being compassionate and sharing common values with shoppers who arrive at the event. The closer that sponsors appear to the visitors, the greater the opportunity that sponsors have to demonstrate alignment with that specific audience. By affiliation these business’ brands speak loudly and clearly to prospects, plus established customers, that they are all kindred spirits contributing to the same community. Recognizing that “a brand is more than what you say, it is what you deliver”, successful local enterprises deliver a clear message of common values to new customers by associating with conspicuous local causes and events. The better brand is the one where prospects and customers trust it more because all parties find common, emotional grounds.
Doing business for fun and profit is an admirable goal. Doing business for fun with nonprofits is an outstanding way to extend one’s brand and experience business growth. But as with all branding, the business must exceed what it says, and deliver! Through aligning with community-based activities that help philanthropic efforts, brands deliver a compassionate and emotional connection to an enlarged target market. The result is better storytelling and stronger customer bonds. Now, watch the socially aware business do well, while they do good!
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond