Doodle 4 Google logo

We have talked about the idea of building your brand through philanthropy here on the blog before, and all the benefits it can have for your business. A great example of a brand paying it forward is Google’s annual Doodle 4 Google Contest, which started in 2010.

The voting for this year’s contest is going on right now through May 9th,and you can vote for your favorites in each of the 5 grade groups by clicking here. The challenge this year was for participants to come up with a doodle of an invention that would make the world a better place.

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As the holidays approach, charitable organizations are really starting to ramp up their outreach and marketing in order to capitalize on the ‘season of giving’ to come. If you’ve ever considered philanthropy or charitable marketing as a strategy for your business, now may be the perfect time to think of creative ways to get involved.

What are the benefits of charitable marketing for your business? There are several. One being that it builds goodwill for your business and establishes positive associations for your brand. (We posted a full article on branding through philanthropy awhile back that might be helpful.) Charitable marketing is also a great way to gain exposure for your business by leveraging the audience and trading on the recognition of another brand — the charity itself. Finally, your charitable activities give you something new to talk about on social media, in your own email marketing, in press releases, and elsewhere, in order to drum up traffic to your website and your store.

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For today’s post in our series on creating community around your business, we’ll turn to Webs’ Head of Marketing, Rochelle, to hear about her first-hand experience with a local charitable organization.

It can be really difficult to think of new ways to create community around your small business–especially when you have your hands full with so many other tasks and demands.  One of the most effective community-creating strategies I’ve seen in action is in-kind donations: donating your business’s services or goods to other organizations (specifically non-profits) that can benefit from them.

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Last week we talked about how some brands will base their brand values on the ideals of their founder or a prominent figure in their company. Often, one of those ideals is the importance of doing good in the world outside of your industry.

Have you ever been trying to decide between two competing products and found yourself looking for a tie-breaker? At least for me, that tie-breaker has sometimes been a brand’s emphasis on corporate citizenship. I was recently deciding whether to buy a pair of shoes from a local big-box store or to order a pair of Toms. All other factors of comfort and style being equal, I ultimately decided to pay a few dollars more and go with the Toms because I am aware of their philanthropic pursuit to give shoes to kids in need. That’s a very specific example, but we make decisions like this all the time — consciously or unconsciously — when we chose to which brands we will be loyal. We have a sense that some brands share our values, and therefore we choose to support those companies instead of the alternative, even when there is a notable difference in price.

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