There is one very important engagement that each retailer or franchisee needs in order to be successful over the long term…and it’s not product-focused or involves online delivery. It is…community relations.
When people do good things, others notice
Whether you are a stand-alone establishment or part of a large chain, you should include community relations in your retail marketing plan. Embrace a local cause and not just because it’s more meaningful to Millennials and Gen Z. If you are successful, you owe part of that success to the community that’s been supporting you. Everyone appreciates a retailer who gives back.
According to a recent CSR study, consumers gravitate towards brands that value community engagement and embrace social and environmental responsibility. In fact, given similar price and quality, 89% of consumers are likely to switch brands for one that is associated with a good cause.
Differentiate yourself by making a difference
Let’s face it, in this ever-increasing climate of competition, consumers have to decide who will get their business. You have to find a way to differentiate yourself from all the others who sell similar products or services. Being a champion of a cause in your community could be the action that sets you apart.
Here are some tips and idea starters for getting involved in your community:
- Do a little research on organizations in your area.
- Choose a worthwhile, local cause that you can support and let your clientele know that you are behind them.
- Put forth a genuine effort… customers can smell fake self-praise a mile away.
- It could be the local chapter of the American Cancer Society that has an event in your community, a local school trying to raise funds for band uniforms, or an individual athlete or musician who can’t afford to make a trip to a competition.
- Sponsoring a Little League team is nice but that alone won’t be enough.
- Try to avoid politics, as it tends to be polarizing.
Supporting a local cause is a simple way to show that you care. Those with the most assets in customer perception will ultimately emerge as the winners.
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