Aligning your brand with a charity is more than just a PR exercise, it’s a way to share and demonstrate your brand’s values to your customer base. It’s for this reason that it’s becoming increasingly popular for consumers in turn to associate themselves with businesses and brands that support the causes the care about too. With the festive season in full swing, we are beginning to see more and more brands promote their charity partner and for some, it yields amazing results.
Booko is a site with a very simple goal: to find the cheapest place to buy books and DVDs online - shipping costs are calculated and prices are conveniently converted into your local currency. Booko is hugely supportive of groups that inspire and promote reading and one such group is Big Fat Smile. Big Fat Smile is a community group that supports refugee families, women and children fleeing from domestic violence and families who have been affected by drug abuse. All of the children in these families don’t have any, or enough, appropriate clothing and nothing of their own to play with or read. Big Fat Smile then create pack for these families in need which include clothing, a toy and a book to read. The two brands align well together. The Booko community shares the value of accessibility to reading and as such, respond well to the partnership by donating books when they are shopping online.
So how can you align your brand to a charity or cause?
1. Pick a charity or cause that means something to you
The organisation you choose need not be directly related to the work your business does or be a nationally or internationally recognised cause.
2. Research the cause
Once you have selected the charity or cause you wish to support, it is important that you research the group you choose to ensure that their objectives and needs don’t conflict with your own business objectives, and that there are clear opportunities for you to help.
3. Don’t just donate money
There are many ways that a company can contribute to its chosen charity or cause. Many local level organisations have a greater need for donated goods and services, or for people able to volunteer for a couple of hours each month than they do for a monetary donation. Your business may sell a product or service that the charity needs that you can either donate entirely, or offer at a discounted rate.
4. Make it a partnership
A strategic partnership built over time, where the business and charity promote the relationship reciprocally, is more powerful than a one off instance of giving. Through continued involvement both organisations are exposed to the other’s network of contacts providing a greater pool of potential customer and donators, and build a greater brand awareness level within the community than could be done alone.