Valentine’s Day is finally out of the way! The chocolates and cards are deeply discounted. The unsold teddy bears have been shipped off to the local Goodwill, and single people everywhere have emerged from hiding—ready to face the world anew.
Your loved ones are likely still basking in the afterglow, following a full day of pampering and attention—and if done right, they’re still feeling the love. But what about your clients? Your target audiences? Have you done enough to keep them interested?
If the bond you share with your audience seems to have gone cold with the weather this season, perhaps it’s time to take a few cues from Cupid—and stoke those smoldering embers into the blaze you always knew it could be.
A wise man—who definitely isn’t me, just now—once said, “If you want to win hearts, you must first prove that you have one.” In other words: it’s time to show your audience you care by putting your resources where your mouth is. It’s time to do good. To give back. It’s time for a little social cause marketing.
5 good reasons it’s good to do good.
1. It provides a sense of purpose.
Everyone—from rank-and-file employees to administration alike—will feel more motivated when the work they’re doing serves a higher purpose than the simple enrichment of a faceless corporation.
2. Maintains your brand story.
What’s your brand all about? What do you stand for? Odds are, there’s a very natural way to incorporate your existing brand story/values with a philanthropic effort. Mine your deepest roots for direction.
3. Keeps employees engaged.
Some employees truly enjoy the work they do, and consider it to be its own reward. Those of us who breathe normal oxygen, however, will appreciate the morale boost.
4. Strengthens your bond with the community.
You have to live and work amongst these people. You might as well remain on speaking terms.
5. Connects with your audience.
Having a hard time reaching Millennials? Go to where they are. Millennials are genuinely interested in making a positive difference in the world. Align with those ideals, and they will align with you.
3 brands who do good right.
1. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – (Microsoft)
Well-funded, with a wide scope. Most organizations don’t have the resources to operate at their level, but can learn a lot from their approach. They are thoughtful, transparent, and lead with their hearts.
Organic and natural. Patagonia takes a sensitive approach to every part of the business—from the environmental impact of their products, to the quality-of-life of their workers. Corporate responsibility isn’t something they tack onto their brand—it’s woven directly into their DNA.
3. Warby Parker
Like TOMS, they utilize a one-for-one donation approach—giving pairs of glasses to people in need throughout the world. But they don’t stop there. They also provide training and education to people in developing countries to start businesses that administer eye exams, and sell eyewear.
It’s an authentic extension of the brand—giving back while remaining true to their core competency.
3 things we can learn from them.
1. Solve an actual problem.
This can be harder than it sounds. The media is littered with organizations of all varieties attempting to throw their hats in the philanthropic ring.
Many of these attempts, however, fall well short of usefulness—and are consequently revealed as PR moves, or worse, thinly-veiled attempts to take social credit for protecting their own bottom line.
2. Be humble. It’s not about you.
Focus on the problem, and how your brand is best positioned to solve it. Be as straightforward and organic about it as possible, without promoting wasteful consumerism. Don’t do this.
3. If you fake it—you won’t make it.
Finally—be honest, and commit. True philanthropy is a long-term endeavor. It’s not going to be a quick shot-in-the-arm for your brand, nor will it serve to offset blunders it may have made along the way.
But, if approached with care, social cause marketing can serve a powerful purpose in the world—and help enliven the relationship between your brand and its audience along the way.
At Tamooz, we work hard to tell your ideal brand story—with strategic communications that move hearts and change minds. From brand development and digital marketing, to interactive design, events, and experiences—we deliver a portfolio of tailored solutions and services that work together to create powerful results for your business. Let’s talk about growing your brand. Visit us on Twitter or LinkedIn. Or—to get better acquainted—give us a call at +1 612 234 1153 (US), +44 7 835 160 205 (UK), +972 3 681 8885 (IL), or firstname.lastname@example.org.