Consumers expectations of companies are rapidly changing. Buyers are no longer interested in investing in just a product. They want to believe in the company itself and feel good about what their money is supporting. With the internet providing access to so much information, and consequently so many options, what sets one company apart from the others is not simply their ability to solve a problem or provide a service. It’s their ability to communicate their brand and attract advocates of that message. This is where the rise of corporate philanthropy comes into play.
Corporate philanthropy gives consumers a sense of meaning behind purchases. Here are a few example of how philanthropy can effect your businesses success.
Philanthropy defines a company’ moral value
In today’s day and age, beyond selling a product, companies want to sell a mindset, a lifestyle, or even a belief system. A great way of doing this is by aligning a company with a specific philanthropic cause.
Demonstrating concern for the greater good will resonate with the world’s increasingly socially conscious consumers. Take Warby Parker as an example. They didn’t do anything to innovate the design of glasses themselves, so why have they seen so much success when there are a million other eyewear companies already out there? In huge part, it’s because for every pair of glasses bought, they donate a pair to someone in need. This demonstration of a moral compass immediately drew consumers to their brand. Choosing a moral standing, a cause, a perspective is what consumers want nowadays. They want to make sure they are investing in companies that align with their personal values.
Philanthropy leads to great PR
Marrying your business to a philanthropic obligation does not mean your company is all of a sudden a non-profit organization. You still have to meet deadlines, make money, and satisfy shareholders. Paradoxically, demonstrating generosity helps profits, and can get your business a lot great, and often times free, PR.
People love to see companies changing the world for the better, and the media is always looking for ways to highlight some positivity in the world to balance out all of the tragedy they have to report on daily. Positive PR about your philanthropic efforts has a meaningful impact on your brand. Not only does it get consumers for familiar with your brand, it also humanizes it. When people can empathize with a business, they are much more willing to invest their hard earned money in its products. Be careful though; consumers can tell when a company is being facetious about its philanthropic efforts. Take the time to throughly vet the charities you’re supporting, and make sure you understand the people you’re helping and have solid evidence that what you’re giving has real meaning to them. If your company isn’t genuinely invested in giving back, your efforts can quickly backfire.
Philanthropy triggers creativity
Finding a philanthropic cause that fits well with your product is no easy task. It may take some trial and error, but it will definitely push you to think outside the box. Perhaps you’ll come up with an innovative business model that satisfies both the monetary and the moral goals of the company. As you get more involved with philanthropy, you will begin to discover new and better ways of giving back that will inevitably influence the way you conduct your business. Philanthropy won’t just change how people view your brand, it will change how your company does business.
As business and philanthropy come together more and more, the benefits to this marriage are endless. The best part of philanthropy is that it not only makes you and your consumers feel good, it actually makes you a better entrepreneur. The more you improve as an entrepreneur, the more successful your business will become.