Appeal to the kindness of people and share in the reward. Although the notion of giving back is on full display during holiday season, year-round charitable sponsorship builds customer loyalty, positive brand messaging, and holiday spirit that spans 12 months a year. Cause marketing or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is when a company contributes to charitable causes and supports social issues while also making a profit, but this dual-purpose mindset has garnered devout followers especially after the challenging last few years. Here, four ways your business can spread good will and boost consumer relationships throughout the year!
The Rise of the Giving Tree Trade
What started as a principle by many organizations as a way of assisting those in need – men, women, children, families, etc. around the holidays has transitioned into a bi-annual event taking place in the winter holiday – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza – season as well as in the summer, oftentimes with back-to-school being a theme. A tree is assembled and ornaments with item requests for specific anonymous recipients adorn the branches. Individuals remove an ornament or two and fulfill the wish or request on the ornament. Likewise, in summer the same principle applies but with requests for supplies or apparel for the school year. The Family Giving Tree in California was one of the pioneers of such a program and is still going strong today.
Your business can spearhead a holiday or all-occasion giving tree by pairing with a local charity or cause, erecting an eco-conscious tree – faux or living evergreen – and decorating as desired. Next, set it atop a sturdy riser or platform in order for customers and clients to clearly see it. Change decorations and/or causes seasonally or as you see fit. The giving tree engages customers, neighborhoods, cultures, and more forming bonds and memories that last a lifetime.
Raffle Drawings Offer Shopping Incentive
Conjure customer interest and engagement while giving back. Conducting a giveaway raffle of your products, services, or homemade goods is a great way to bring attention to a cause – and your business! Ask customers for their contact information via folded pieces of paper or ticket stubs and place in a clear countertop or standalone raffle or donation box – where customers can ogle the competition or lack thereof and earn more entries into the contest. These seasonal, special occasion, or regularly scheduled raffles can solidify you as a community supporter and help define your brand and business. It’s Giving Tuesday every day of the year!
Product Proceed Percentage Spark Sales Displays
Continue supporting a cause with coordinating sales. Whether tied into a holiday, season, or special occasion, plan a sale where a portion of the proceeds benefit a charity or cause. Back-to-school sales may assist scholarship funds or select a month – or two to benefit volunteer first responder efforts. Likewise, monies raised in October can support breast cancer awareness associations or walks. There’s no end to worthy causes to aid while selling merchandise. A simple cube table display with or without risers or a display case with select sales items lures customers of like-minded principles to purchase products. Be sure the merchandise is well marked and stands out amongst the crowd with sign holders or poster display stands to direct customers to the sale section or corner.
Buy One, Donate One Dump Bin Bonanza
Appealing to the generosity of your customers while serving the betterment of the community is another way to drive donations and sales. Place items of varying price points in wire or wood dump bins near checkout and ask the customer if they would like to donate an item to a charity of choice. Likewise, a “Buy One, Donate One” to a worthy cause scenario also increases participation. This method works well with school merchandise like backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons, etc. as well as packaged food items for local food pantry donations. Multifunction acrylic cube riser dump bins work for a myriad of items and purposes. They can be used throughout your retail space or displays for large, small, and odd-shaped items, as well as complementary items or impromptu buys.
Giving is a year-round event. People like to engage with their community to give back, it’s up to you as a retailer how you can facilitate the process with your customers, so they feel compelled to participate, not forced. These subtle suggestions allow your patrons to decide how much and how often they are comfortable sharing in the spirit of giving. Build your business and brand alongside comradery, loyalty, and your place in the business community by utilizing one or more of these methods.