What Do You Believe In?
Okay, you have a brand. It's a brand that provides value to customers in the form of quality products. It's a brand you've spend umpteen thousands of dollars advertising and building. And yet consumers want to know something else about your brand. What do you believe in? What are the grand causes that keep you pounding away at business each day?
It's what the PR consultant told you and you dismissed as too expensive: support a cause. When you show consumers that you believe in something beyond making a buck they pay more attention to your brand, and they choose your brand, even if it costs a bit more. You can afford to support a cause, because when you support a cause the right way, the cause pays for itself in sales.
You may be asking yourself what the right way is to support a cause. Things have changed in the corporate/charity world over the last decade. No longer can you pick a charity off the shelf, send them a check and add their logo to your web site. Well, you can; many charities would love for you to do just that. But consumer response is what you're after and such a shallow involvement in today's transparent blog ridden world is leaves you no better off than not supporting a charity at all. The answer to, "what's the right way?" is in the involvement. How involved is your company in supporting the cause you profess to care about.
It's going to take two things that no modern brand can live without: Intelligence and Creativity.
I'm not talking about your I.Q. I'm talking about information, research, and the thought that goes into interpreting it. You need to find out what matters most to your customers and how you can get involved with organizations that provide it.
Get creative about how you get involved in the charity. Get involved hands-on supporting the charity in visible and demonstrable ways.