Now more than ever people are searching for meaning, right down to what they buy and why. To connect with consumers in 2022, businesses must lead with values. Consider a plan and strategies to partner with like-minded organizations and individuals to show your customers how their buying power benefits the community and not just your bottom line.
First, make a partnership plan. Partnership by its nature is a win-win. However, it is important to plan exactly how and why a partnership will benefit both sides. This builds clarity, goals, and authenticity into the partnership. Review your company's mission and values and identify a non-profit organization, event, and influencers or affiliates that mirror your aspirations. Take the time to sit down with the non-profit director, event organizer, or influencer to talk about their objectives and needs to plot a course for how your two entities can work together. This can provide a framework and goals for both entities to implement the following strategies:
- Pick a Non-Profit Event. After carefully selecting a non-profit organization that aligns with company values, co-host fundraising events that highlight your service/product and benefit their mission. For example, if you are a local clothing retailer, donate prizes such as gift certificates or a wardrobe for a year that can be auctioned or raffled during an event at your store. Invite supporters of the non-profit organization as well as your client list to the event and donate all proceeds to the non-profit. The event shows your community commitment and provides leads for future customers and even future employees according to LinkedIn.
- Pinpoint a Percentage of Sales. Identify one or more projects that connect with your values and donate a percentage of sales toward them. Consumers are often willing to spend a little more, return more often, and feel better about purchases when they know their money is doing more than just buying a product. The most impactful way to show the added value of a purchase is to provide a visual or a tangible thing that will happen as a result. Some of the most successful examples of this include the TOMS Shoes One for One™ model. For each pair of shoes purchased, the organization donates a pair of shoes (or other items) to children in need. Another example is 'Merica outerwear, which plants three trees for each item sold and prominently tracks the total number of trees on the company's website.
- Access Affiliate Marketing. Find and research local and national bloggers, social media influencers, suppliers - or even your own customers - who share your business values. Develop partnerships with these affiliates to use and promote your product or service with their followers, friends, or websites. The influencers can help launch new products, announce sales, and build credibility and new customers in return for an agreed-upon commission or trade for leads that convert into sales.
- Place Product. Look for prominent, trusted events in your community that attract individuals who align with a market you would like to capture or expand. Offer to donate a product or a service at the event to "place" your product in front of a new audience. For example, a new coffee bar might offer free lattes and a discount or free drink as part of a local college's orientation or high school homecoming event can boost sales and connect with new consumers.
Intentionally choosing to put profits where your heart is will not only build business in 2022, but trust and community too. Poole Communications has built-in opportunities for any business to partner within the community. Contact us today to put your values into action.
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