The essence of building a brand and business ought to go beyond making money for the pockets of the owners/shareholders of the brand alone. A part of the core values of being a brand, ought to be rooted in community service and giving a part of what is earned by the brand, back to the society in which the brand is rooted in.
It is unarguably true, that the society and the host community of the brand, plays a significant part in the growth, expansion, and development of the brand, by their consistent patronage of the brand.
In view of this, it is expected that such a brand enjoying the undivided patronage of the community should in one way or the other, do something in return to grow and develop, and put a smile on the faces of the people of the society
Although some brand owners might argue that giving back to the society is unnecessary, standing on the posit that they also are doing the community a favor by meeting their demands with their goods and services.
This might be true to an extent, but the truth is, the society can decide not to patronize a particular brand, and go for another brand with the same goods and services. Therefore, the relationship between the community and brands is one that should be complementary, and mutually exclusive with both parties being helpful to one another.
Looking at it from a social capitalism point of view, all brands should be social enterprises in the sense that all brands should be concerned about the society that they are a part of.
They should use some of their capitals (which might include cash, landed properties and manual labor), to improve the lives and welfare of the people of the communities they belong to.
The following are the ways through which brands can give back to the society in which they belong:
• Providing job opportunities for the job seeking population of the community.
It is true that brands cannot employ all of the unemployed people of their community, but they should be able to hire a considerable visible percentage, that would show on the community.
• Organize relevant training for the youth.
The youth is the foundation of every community. For every community that is well, it shows that the people, most especially the youths are doing, and vice versa. The growth and development of every community are hinged on the input and output of its youths.
Brands need to understand that what the youths are what they see, hear and learn. So brands can help shape the lives of the youths of the community, by organizing relevant training in different spheres of life for them. It could be about life, career, or education.
• Patronize local brands.
While you are going about running your brand, try as much as possible to patronize complementary brands. Invest in brands owned by the natives of the community, either for the role material for your own brand or for your basic needs.
• Sponsor a charity event
Most communities have charity events they hold at a particular time of the year, be a part of this. You can decide to sponsor the food, or drinks, or anything that needs to be catered for.
• Organize Contest.
This is another way you can give back to society as a brand. Create fun and entertainment by organizing shows or contest, which can be free, or at a discounted price.
• Provide social amenities.
This is dependent on the type of community you are situated in, if it is an urban city, you might need something worthwhile such as traffic lights. But if the location is a rural settlement, then you need around for the most urgent need of the community and meet it.
You might be wondering what your gains are for giving back to the society in these ways mentioned above. There are lots of things to gain as a brand for making your brand a social enterprise namely:
• Build Trust.
By giving back to society, your brand will gain the trust and support of the community. You will become their most valuable, most trusted and most supported brand. And once a brand is loved and trusted by a society, it leads to the next point.
• Brand Exposure and Promotion.
Most definitely, there is no way the reputation of your brand won’t be boosted by your brand’s involvement in community service. Giving back to the society will promote your business, and also help make more sales.
• Good Network
As a result of your brand’s support in hosting and organizing events, you will have the opportunity to meet with other brand owners, whom you might like to do business with.
• Create A Beautiful Relationship Among Your Employee
A brand that does things together stay together. When you involve your employees in your giving back to the community projects lined up, it is going to build a standing and beautiful relationship and teamwork between them.
Giving back to the community is one sure way to have a good rapport and relationship with the community you are located in, and the people also. You don’t have to spend all you make on community development, give out a part that will be appreciated by the community.
Your giving might not be as grand as that of The Walt Disney donations or the Coca Cola’s contribution to several foundations such as China Women Development Foundation ($800,000), Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust ($500,000), and American National Red Cross ($1,200,000).
Just start from where you are. Put smiles on people’s faces with the little you have. Make a positive impact in the lives of the people of the community you have found yourself EVEN IF IT’S WITH JUST A CONCERT TICKET POWERED BY GIVE BACK TICKETS.