Regardless of what you’re selling or even what format it comes in, there’s one surefire way to grow your brand: Make it about community. Whether you’re selling clothing online, working in a brick and mortar store, or just starting up, building a brand takes a village. And if you want your brand to succeed, growing it will mean giving back to the community and customers. If you’re looking for new, community-minded ideas to grow your brand, read on.
Collecting customer data is not enough. Part of the journey of building a business and a brand should be about the bigger partnership. Maybe you’re just opening up. Or maybe you’re in the process of working with 495Movers to expand your brand into Baltimore. While considering things to pack for the day of the move, you’ll want to stop and think about how you’ll introduce yourself to the world.
Whether a grand opening or just because, consider ways to use events and event planning to build your brand while helping the community. In times of restrictions and social distancing, don’t forget that meetings and events can be virtual, too. Ask yourself and any third parties who support you what your brand represents and how it could translate into an event.
For example, if you own a vegan restaurant, it’s likely customers can guess what your company stands for. But you could take that further by inviting them in to be part of your brand and story. What about hosting online vegan cooking classes once a month? Or, when restrictions lift, bringing customers in for vegan tastings? By planning an on-brand function, you not only provide more brand awareness, but help customers and the community at large to become more invested.
Maybe the pandemic has taught you the importance of technology and you’ve been using services like the ones found at configureone.com to collect information about your customers. Maybe you see a need for changes in the community or have heard about a group of homeless people hit hard. Consider taking that information and using it to give back to the community. If you own a restaurant, donate the extra food to a local food pantry. If you own a retail store and your final clearance sales are done, reconsider throwing away extra inventory. Instead, use those contacts to find ways to give back. People talk and acts of kindness get around. Not only will you be helping your brand with acts of charity, but making a difference, too.
A great way to get to know the community and grow your brand is to become involved. Whether it’s volunteering for local rotary or chamber clubs or organizing fundraising walks, the more people in town see you around, the more they’ll talk. It’s one thing to be known for the best burger or skis in town but it’s even better to be known as a hardworking, caring business leader too.
In the end, any business and it’s overall brand should be a two-way street. You need your customers to succeed and they need you to provide a product or to meet a need. Taking it a step further and embracing your local and bigger communities is a great first step in growing your brand.
Think about it: The more acts of service and community involvement you have, the more brand awareness already out there. Not only will helping the community spread word about your business, but it’ll make a difference, too. Try it. You can start with something as small as pledging to donate a portion of profits for one day to a charity your customers pick. Odds are, both you and your community will be better for it, too.