You’ll find books and web guides on how to brand your business, and you can go to business school to learn about marketing. But what they don’t teach you in school is that your business needs to have a social conscience, and that consumers relate to what they see as a “good” company, startup or small business.
This is what we want to show you in this post. The five points outlined below are brand building tips that will help your business stand tall as a social business for good. It’ll paint you as a honest business, and your brand, products and staff will inherit the halo of that trust. It’s hard for even the biggest of corporate enterprises to buy that kind of trust from the consumer through advertising and marketing campaigns.
1. Go green and get green business certification.
It’s no secret – green business is good business. Being a genuinely eco-friendly business is not a fad or treehugger trend anymore. It’s very much mainstream.
– Establish a paperless office. Automate everything and initiate a company-wide digital transformation process. It’s a hot trend anyway, and there are a huge slew of business benefits on the other side of that transformation.
– Get an electric bus as a shuttle for transporting employees, and make use of clean energy (solar or wind) in the office and/or factory.
– Use natural and recycled raw materials, and recycle waste instead of sending it to landfills.
– Apply for green certification for your business, such as from the Green Building Council. This ensures that your business and premises are following best practices for water conservation, waste recycling, building design and renovation, packaging, lighting sensors, etc.
The benefit of all this is direct and will result in lower costs for your business. But it’s far more beneficial in terms of brand building. Consumers who see you as a green business are more likely to trust you more, as compared to a competitor who has the exact same product.
2. Be an equal opportunity employer.
It’s the age of meritocracy now. The old norms of hiring people from your own community, race, age, sex and other defining demographics is now history.
All that you need to be is an equal opportunity employer who hires a candidate solely based on their qualifications and experience that are pre-requisites for the job. Besides, it’s the law. Labour laws and the Constitution clearly define that you cannot discriminate based on religion, race, caste, sex, birthplace, and place of residence within the country.
The very fact that you state in your employment ads and website that you are an equal opportunity employer is enough to give you a branding advantage over your competitors. The concrete benefit is that you attract the same kind of loyal employees and customers, who will not discriinate either, and have other such defining characteristics you want in your ideal business partners.
3. Give a portion of your profits from every sale to a charity of the customer’s choice.
Follow up on being an equal opportunity employer by giving a portion of your profits from every sale to a charity. To maximize the brand building benefits, allow your customers to name the charity they want to give to, or at least choose from a list of well-known and reputed charities that provide a tax benefit to your buyers.
4. Move to a high-end serviced office space in the best location in your city.
A good location is a huge advantage and a brand building tool for your business. But you probably may not have the resources to buy or rent real estate for your own office in the CBD and other commercial or industrial hubs where all your customers are located. The alternative is to take up a serviced office space in a business center in one of these prime areas.
You can do it without paying huge deposits and monthly rental. Coworking spaces where you have meeting rooms, cafes and lounges for meeting your clients are an even better option. You’ll save a huge amount on monthly rental, and still manage to impress your clients and potential customers with the professional and high-end workspace that only the largest of enterprises can pay for.
5. Sponsor industry events and be seen on stage with the speakers and experts.
There’s a difference between branding your business and personal branding. We’ve got this great guide on personal branding on social media by Sorav Jain, Thinker in Chief at digital marketing agency echoVME. Watch the video and follow his tips. It’ll be a huge help in creating a brand for yourself as an expert and industry influencer.
Apart from social media, we also advise you to attend industry events that are relevant to your business and customers. If you sponsor an event, you’ll get all the business branding benefits that come from prominent placement. In addition, you can ask to be included in a panel or on your own, as a speaker.
Being seen on stage with experts and business leaders puts you in a different league that your competitors simply cannot match. The trust factor that transfers from you to your business, brand and product is huge. It’s highly effective if you’re in the B2B sector, but is quite useful even for a B2C firm that deals directly with consumers.