“You make a first impression and people will never forget it”. Like everyone, yes you have heard it right, like everyone you must also be looking for personal branding or product branding. For any business, branding is a crucial part in this competitive marketplace. It mainly refers to carefully crafted perceptions about their products that will create a memorable first impression.
Why is it important to have a brand?
Who are you? What do you do? And why to choose you? That is what is branding.
Building a brand will increase public recognition and can help you drive your business forward. You will gain customer loyalty and gain support from your beneficiaries to successfully drive mission impact.
So, what exactly is BRANDING?
The answer is – “EVERYTHING”
It is the everything of your business. It will help you identify why you are different when all are doing the same thing. So, how do you make that difference? There are various ways you can brand yourself and your company like
- Identity design – logos
- Multimedia – videos and podcasts
- Customer interaction
- Build a community
- Social networking sites and more
These were some of the common paths, but have you tried building your brand through “philanthropy”. Wondering how? Read on.
Recently I was deciding to buy a pair of shoes from a local store or order it from a brand. Both of them have an equal level of rating in terms of comfort and style, just the difference being of the price. I preferred buying from the brand because I have heard of their philanthropic method of branding that provides shoes to the needy people. So, this was a tough decision I had to make and I usually get stuck on which brands to trust when there is no prominent difference. Sometimes even when there is a remarkable difference in price, we prefer to choose those brand that shares our values whatsoever might be the price. There comes the power of philanthropy in branding. For emerging professionals, philanthropy is most likely a branding movement and a desire to make the world a better place. It will represent your attitudes and your values. If you have a cause, you can highlight it in your branding activity for temporary promotions or as a core business model. To have a better insight, here are a few examples of strong brands?
The Nike Foundation “The Girl Effect” was started as a government support that provides benefits to girls. It talks about itself as a movement, but actually is a brand that builds awareness about teenage girls in developing countries. It uses social media to share information and people stories about teenage girls. Another example is PepsiCo which is a food powerhouse and its philanthropy causes include healthy lifestyle, affordable nutrition, empowering women, clean water, sustainable agriculture and more. Overall with its cause, it has created a brand and also strived to improve communities.
If you want to build your brand and be an example of philanthropy cause, here are some ways out for your brand:
No, you don’t have to be a superman or a spider man, but heroic in your actions. Philanthropy branding should not just end with a donation. Let it make a change in the world. You supportive actions should make an impact on your audience. I would again mention Nike here, it shows a classic story of hero’s journey in its brand strategy. They show their heroism to inspire customer loyalty. The power that a brand holds may seem like a mystery or their fortune but it’s actually their heroism. The heroic deeds of your brand will make the world a safer place and will definitely build your brand better.
Be a community leader
Being a company, there comes an implied responsibility to envision how branding can be accomplished with charity also. There are many professionals who build their headquarters in an area where they feel connected to the community. They form a strong community that strongly influences and create an impact on their region. It is not just sufficient to grant dollars, being a community leader is another necessity to build a brand. So, pick a problem that is meaningful to your community and be a leader in the charitable and local area as a whole. This will develop a strong brand and increase the future benefit of your company.
Put it on stage
Every bit of philanthropy branding you do for your product will definitely include a lot of research, brainstorming and requires exploring your competitors. So, when everything is done put it on stage to bring out the results. A thoughtful inspiring core story will build a longevity for your brand. Convert your ideas into actions and see its effect on your audience. With time you will know your audience and it will help in building personas to build a strong brand for your company.
Philanthropy in building a brand is quite fascinating. Nowadays, it has become quite different and a lot more than just giving charity to cultural institutions. A company itself has to be a good citizen and that is what customers appreciate. Therefore, a company has to think differently to make a difference to their brand and make philanthropy it’s core business model. Just be passionate about your idea of philanthropy and trust me you will establish yourself as a leader in your industry by building a strong brand.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.