Why BRAND through philanthropy?
Let’s discuss the 4th P of marketing – PROMOTION.
Shelly Lazarus, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, was interviewed by Forbes and simply stated, “First, you have to determine what you want your brand to stand for.”
Creating a brand “foundation” isn’t easy. We typically brand as we go, following trends and testing each strategy. Small business gets stuck in the marketing testing phase, as ROI becomes the focus. I know that it’s hard to spend money and not see instant returns. I know it’s hard to put effort into marketing, only to have our strategies seem inconsequential. These are only a few of the reasons I consistently direct small business towards philanthropy.
Nonprofit foundations help build a brand and provide you, the investor, an instant return. Yes — it’s the instant gratification of giving back to your community and making a difference! What I’ve noticed is that most business men and women want to feel like marketing investments are making huge strides, and since these investments are often difficult to quantify, the easiest way to feel the difference is by making one. Meanwhile, you are building your brand. You are providing your brand with a tradition, lending it the following foundations and corresponding brand interpretations:
- Stability – an established member of our community / an unselfish business with integrity / annual participation proving reliability
- Recognition – consistent co-branding with a nonprofit / sponsoring local teams or foundations / providing your service or product at fundraising events
- Purpose - staying at the forefront of your community / leadership through philanthropy / community assistance within your industry
Most brands fight for these characteristics. Promotional efforts can be targeted to wins these three without a huge investment or effort, but we need to think about where our money is going and what it means to have a strategy in the first place. A strategy is not about instant success; it’s a long term commitment and we need to stop looking for strategies that work, and start making our brand work for our products/services.
BRAND Workshop: Let’s start now! I’m beginning a new workshop series within my blog posts to provide direction to my readers. I want to help you — and your busy schedule — by taking my blog posts and putting them into action. How easy is it to build your brand through philanthropy?
- What inspires you? Do you enjoy assisting art nonprofits because you’re a design firm? Did you know someone who inspired you to your full potential who struggled with cancer? Start with your personal inspiration.
- Find a corresponding nonprofit. (Too busy? No such thing! Call me and I’ll find it for you.)
- Each and every nonprofit organization needs assistance. Think first if there is a way your business can assist with its current products or services, and offer these to a leader within the organization.
- Once you provide your product or service, most nonprofits will want to announce your sponsorship in some form of marketing material. Send your logo to website administrators or promotional material creators. If the organization is finding it difficult to print materials, offer your assistance in providing promotional materials with your logo and the logos of other sponsors.
- Meeting other sponsors is a fantastic way to grow your B2B network. Throw a sponsorship luncheon or outing, and invite your non-sponsor friends to come and assist in some way. Charge guests in fundraiser fashion and donate the proceeds to the nonprofit. Encourage your guests who are not participating to help your chosen organization.
- Raise awareness & participation. Do (1) awareness raising effort each month – whether it’s including the nonprofit in your newsletters or reaching out to your nonprofit B2B network to ensure everyone stays energized. By participating once monthly, you will stay involved without stressing over other time commitments.
In this workshop, we’ve built your brand through philanthropy by promoting your brand and by growing your network. This workshop provided one brand strategy, and if completed, will ensure you are always properly branding your business.
To read the complete article quoted in the beginning of this blog: http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/01/shelly-lazarus-ogilvy-leadership-managing-interview.html