It’s Valentine’s Day.  A day of love, flowers, candy and kisses.  UGH!!!  Let’s talk about “Marketing Love” shall we?  Much less gushy.

At a time of disastrously low trust in businesses around the world, it behooves companies to REFOCUS their marketing efforts on the value they provide to society rather than how absolutely GREAT they personally are.  Simply put, we must give our clients and/or consumers EXACTLY what they’re looking for and stop bragging on how much we rock.  Additionally, businesses must support their community and the needs around them.  They must be “admired” and “trusted” by the public to become a popular preferred product or service provider.  (Say that 3 times fast)

At the core of our work must be a focus on how our products and services benefit our customers in an open and honest manner that doesn’t try to pull the wool over their eyes, but rather, engages them in a way that provides benefits.  Easy, right??

I personally believe that marketing (done well) is an amazing profession.   That’s why I do it and enjoy it.  I don’t treat it just as a JOB…  it’s more of  a craft.   When you consider business branding, you elevate the vision of marketing to a higher level.  It’s increasing important that businesses not only have a good product or service to provide – but a great REPUTATION.  Branding should include involvement in the community… Overall giving back to the community that IS or WILL be supporting the very business you own.  Here are some things to consider:

The Ethical Consumer

·        7 out of 10 shoppers say they like shopping with companies who ‘visibly give something back to society’.

·        81% of consumers say that they do not like buying products from companies they disapprove of.

·        Only 30% say they buy solely from companies that conform to their own ethical standards

·        Half of US consumers say that they would like to buy from companies that have a strong “Corporate Social Responsibility” program in place.

Would you say that you agree with those statistics?  Do you believe that if your business makes an effort to raise awareness of cancer research or recycling or perhaps sponsors a community blood drive… Will that make you a “Better Business” in the eyes of consumers.  Here’s my opinion on the subject:

1.  Raising awareness of noble causes is the RIGHT thing to do, but it will also give your business visibility for doing it.  If you’re going to spend time and money marketing yourself, why not do it in support of a cause that really needs it?

2.  Staying involved in the community and supporting it when you can makes you a ‘good citizen’.  In turn, the public will feel more of a kinship with you and your business and will be more likely to think of you when they need your services.

3.  It sure as hell couldn’t hurt.