Aug 12, 2014
How to Gain Favor In The Eyes of Your Buyers
Sustainability is its own buzz word in the corporate world, but sustainability has many useful elements that can give your business credibility in the eyes of consumers. Sustainability basically refers to ways your business promotes the well-being or ‘sustainability’ of mankind, usually in the context of the environment and preserving the environment through responsible work practices. But I invite you to view sustainability in a more holistic way.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability for your business can take many different faces. For example, sustainability can be involvement in the community, donating unused/excess goods or offering pro-bono services in your particular industry. Some lawn care businesses mow the lawns of women’s shelters or public fairgrounds for free. Doctors offices offer free or reduced care for particular causes, groups or periods of time during the year. Many grocery stores and other food operations donate excess food to be distributed to lower income families through local food banks. Consider what your business does, and try to imagine a practical way that business can give back to the environment or the community.
Involve Your Business in the Community
Many businesses take the opportunity to ‘sponsor’ community events and initiatives, which is a form of sustainability coupled with advertising/marketing. Sustainable business practices can be particularly beneficial come tax time when many charitable expenditures are tax deductible. In a sense, sustainability is an investment by a business in its reputation and credibility with the local community. On a larger scale, Chevron is known for fighting AIDS and funding fuel efficiency research. GE funds water efficiency and conservation and Microsoft funds global vaccination for curable international diseases.
Choosing sustainability gives your marketing narrative something else to discuss other than the finer points of your superior product or service. Take the time to share charitable givings in the community and how your business cares about what goes on outside of its quarterly earnings. Such a move will generate respect and solidify the trust of consumers. Marketing at its core is selling a complete image to consumers, an image they can believe in and potentially buy into if the product or service is useful to them.
Sit down with the in-house communications director and hash out a plan for your company sustainability. You will be pleasantly surprised about what it can do for your marketing efforts.