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4 ways retailers can say “Thank You” to the community

4 ways retailers can say “Thank You” to the community

Developing a brand that shoppers trust takes time and investment. Building community outreach into your brand's core principles shows shoppers that your business is an active member of the community. Here are four ways your store can give back:

1. Conduct an informal survey

If you want to give back to your local community, but you're not sure where to start, consider conducting an informal poll on your store's social media pages. Seeking active participation from your customers will help you determine which causes are most relevant to your target demographic.

Social media sites such as Facebook make it easy to create custom polls that reach the people who follow your brand online. To encourage participation, consider combining a poll with a special promotion or giveaway. For instance, if you want to know which causes your followers support, you could pledge to donate to the organization that receives the most votes. Later, you can use this data to develop future community outreach events.

2. Team up with a local nonprofit organization

Partnering with a nonprofit organization in your local community is a win-win situation. Your brand gets to support a worthwhile cause and your shoppers can see a positive influence on their community. Plus, research shows that support for charity organizations can improve sales.

According to a Cone Communications survey, 59 percent of U.S. shoppers are more likely to buy a product that is associated with a corporate-nonprofit partnership.

Consult the GuideStar Directory to discover nonprofit organizations operating within your community, or consider reaching out to a national nonprofit to learn how your brand can bring additional resources to your community.

Sponsoring local events is a great way to spread brand awareness and give back to the community.Sponsoring local events is a great way to spread brand awareness and give back to the community.

3. Sponsor a local event

Another great way to give back to the community is to sponsor a local event such as a fun run, farmer's market or music festival. Sponsorship not only spreads awareness of your business, but also shows that your organization is an active member of the community.

In addition to getting your brand name up at the event itself, you can promote the event in-store to spread awareness among your regular customers. Use a message board to announce the event and any relevant promotions.

4. Start a food drive

Collecting canned foods is a great way to support the less fortunate members of your local community. You can design a large box encouraging shoppers to bring in goods during a specific time period, then make a donation to the local food shelf.

To encourage shoppers to participate, consider giving out a discount to individuals who make a donation. Likewise, make the donation box stand out with bright colors and wrapping paper so shoppers can't miss it as they enter the store.

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