Around the holidays, many companies and business people join together to help others in need. Supporting these causes isn’t just good for those in need; it’s good for your business, too. Whether you decide to volunteer, support nonprofit organizations, or make charitable donations, here are three ways to leverage your good deeds for your business.
1. Attract attention.
Everyone loves a feel-good story, and if yours is big enough, you could gain some favorable press out of it. If you are going to pitch it to news outlets, you’ll have a better chance starting with local media sources.
But what if your story doesn’t warrant media coverage?
Even small acts that support a worthy cause or belief can lead to new connections through word of mouth. It starts when your clients tell their friends, then those friends tell other friends.
2. Enhance your brand.
People don’t care about businesses. They care about what those businesses stand for. The brands with a loyal following reflect the values of their customers. For instance, people go on waiting lists to buy Harley-Davidsons, or even go so far as tattoo the logo on their bodies, because they identify with the rebel spirit.
Sharing your values gives you a clear identity in the minds of your clients and prospects.
If you have nothing else to differentiate you from the competition, it will come down to price or some other factor that is easy for anyone to manipulate or match.
In fact, research shows that people go out of their way to do business with companies that are aligned with good causes.
According to the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, 89 percent of U.S. consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause if price and quality are comparable. That’s a 35 percent within the past 20 years.
In another study, 2014 Nielson Doing Well by Doing Good, 42 percent of North American respondents reported they would pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact, up 7 percent from 2011.
3. Start conversations that strengthen relationships.
The last time we did the Pink Edition, a special issue that supports breast cancer awareness, we got a lot of comments from our customers. And they got a lot of comments from their own clients. For relationship marketers, that’s pure gold. We always encourage our customers to reach out and start conversations with their clients, and here clients are initiating that themselves!
Values matter to people. If you share the same values as your customers, you’ll create a stronger bond with them. You’ll build trust. They’ll like you more. And all of that leads to more referrals.
Think about it. Who are you more likely to pass your friends and family on to—someone you know merely from a business relationship or someone who has the same values as you?
And the best part is, whether your clients call you or you call them, your cause gives you a reason to start conversations in which you can ask for these referrals.
By the way, we speak from experience. We recently joined with Living Beyond Breast Cancer for the Pink Edition of American Lifestyle magazine, which includes special content designed to support breast cancer awareness, and we’re already receiving positive reactions and referrals even before the magazine mails. For more information on sending the Pink Edition, go to www.remindermedia.com/pink.
Doing good really is good business.