As a small-business owner, it’s important that you not only keep an eye on your brand’s financial well-being, but also its reputation in the community. Even if you sell the greatest products or services in your area, odds are that irresponsible business practices will start to alienate consumers after awhile. Modern customers, especially younger ones, expect the business they patronize to give back to the community – or at least not to harm it. Most small-business owners are hopping on the bandwagon, too. According to Business News Daily, 66 percent want their brands to be seen as more socially responsible than they currently are.
Fortunately, January poses a fantastic opportunity for you and your small business to prove that you’re not just putting on a good face when you claim to give back to the neighborhood. The first month of the new year is National Blood Donor Month, and the need for donations has never been higher. According to the American Red Cross, more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. Every two seconds, another patient requires a transfusion. You probably know that trauma victims need blood immediately, but even some cancer patients fare better with daily transfusions. If you want to start the year off on the right foot, check out these ways you can promote your socially responsible brand during National Blood Donor Month.
If you’re not sure how to start your social responsibility marketing campaign, it might make sense to take cues from other organizations. Though they may have been a few days ahead of National Blood Donor Month, the Columbus, Ohio, YMCA held a blood drive Dec. 28, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. The Red Cross told the newspaper that winter is typically a difficult time to collect donations because people are less likely to make the trek to donation centers.
You should take a page from the YMCA’s book and partner with your local Red Cross affiliate to hold a blood drive at your store. The organization often brings ‘bloodmobile’ vehicles around to remote sites, and these mobile donation centers are a great way to associate your brand with goodwill and responsibility. The very presence of one of these long white vehicles might even be enough to draw customers toward your store to have a look at what’s going on.
Maybe the idea of a giant truck collecting blood outside your doors doesn’t sit well with you. That’s fine, because there’s more than one way to be socially responsible during National Blood Donor Month.
Instead of having the donation truck come to you, draw the donors instead. Most blood collection sites run by the Red Cross hand out tokens to people who give blood so they can boast about the fact and hopefully get others to donate, too. This is where your small business comes in. Put the word out that you’re offering discounts to anybody who comes into the store with proof they gave blood. You can also hand out personalized products like Myron’s Promotional Price Buster Cap. Customize it with the date and a message that tells everybody the wearer did his or her part to save another’s life, and don’t forget to put your small business’ unique branding design somewhere visible, too.
It’s not a comforting fact, but odds are that some of your customers might need emergency blood transfusions at some point in their lives. Put the full weight of your brand behind National Blood Donor Month to prove that when it comes to social responsibility, you don’t just talk the talk – you walk the walk.