Giving Back Encourages Brand Loyalty and Sets You Apart from Competition.
With the holiday season officially upon us, there is no better time than right now to consider ways for your brand to build goodwill within your community. A successful brand must encompass more than simply a list of goods or services and a healthy bottom line. In order for a brand to establish firm, natural and lasting roots, it must stand as a multidimensional player within its customers’ communities. A brand is far more likely to retain strong loyalty with the public if it is seen as an entity with strong moral values which align with theirs.
Do your research. The first step in creating a natural and successful campaign of goodwill is to figure out what matters most to customers in your target audience. If your customer base is made up of government contractors or agencies, perhaps consider a goodwill campaign with the veterans. If your customers are mainly in the commercial sector, such as the healthcare or IT industries, perhaps consider doing something that affects many people in society, such as cancer research or helping the homeless. Also, it’s important to be strategic when considering a goodwill campaign. Do what you are good at and can do. An example of doing good for the community is our team working with schools in the Washington, DC area to provide tours of TriVision’s production studio facilities for students when they are exploring future career options. Our 12,000 square ft. multimedia studio in Northern Virginia is often a popular point of interest for youth in all levels, from cub scouts to students from a tech institute. As a young creative agency, we feel inspiring students to find what interests them is our way of giving something back to the community.
Establish an action plan. You must create a strategy which is consistent with your brand identity, espouses values shared between your company and your community, and is genuinely helpful. Consistent word of mouth about the positive effects of your goodwill campaign will last longer than a one-time story. Your goodwill outreach doesn’t have to be just a monetary commitment to a cause. You could create a media campaign to draw attention to issues within a community. You could offer free services to veterans, students with college debt or people with underprivileged backgrounds. As a full service marketing and creative agency, TriVision has often provided pro bono or discounted branding, website design and video production services for nonprofit organizations and schools, as a way for us to say thanks and show our appreciation. This encourages brand loyalty and improves the value of our business. An example of this type of giving back is when TriVision’s Creative Director, Arsalan Lutfi, designed the logo for DC Central Kitchen many years ago which is still a prominent visual element of this nationally recognized “community kitchen”.
Get people involved. Unlike a cut and dry ad or media campaign, this endeavor does not entail a unilaterally planned and executed PR strategy. It is a mutual relationship between the community and the company. This relationship can only thrive when both parties have an equal interest in common goals. Recruit volunteers to help with your cause, have your social media followers share your content, or pledge charity donations in combination with product orders. Not only will this help to get the word out about your goodwill campaign, but the word that gets out will be natural and earned.
Be subtle and deliberate. The ideal campaign melts into the background of a brand’s narrative and justifies its own purpose. It is important to allow your audience to come to its own conclusions about your company’s motives without having to be told one way or the other. Inherently self-congratulatory messaging can set off suspicions about a brand’s motives and end up looking more like a PR stunt than a genuine attempt to give back. Not to mention, praise for a brand coming from elsewhere is far more believable than praise a brand gives to itself.
Above all, your goodwill campaign should be focused on creating energy around your brand. While a flashy ad campaign can go a long way towards advancing your brand recognition, creating genuine energy amongst your customers and audience will create a feedback loop and elevate your brand to a new class.