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Building a socially conscious brand

Posted on:  ,  | Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

There are no shortcuts to building a socially conscious brand. It's something you must commit to and work hard at. But there are strategies to make sure that consumers recognize your efforts in a positive way.

Jacqueline Jacek, founder of JACEK Chocolates, has been building a socially conscious brand from the start. After talking to her about how she’s done it, it became evident that it’s all about thinking ahead. Building a ‘give back strategy’ is a key aspect to making sure that you're not giving without building a story around your brand in the process.

The first part of your strategy should include understanding your brand image, and then making sure your actions back this image. People are smart, and are therefore going to notice and appreciate your efforts in giving back to your community.

However, to ensure that your efforts don’t get lost or confused, make sure that they align with the brand image you want your business to have. Think about what emotion you want your brand to evoke from consumers, and find an organization that evokes the same emotion in you.

For JACEK Chocolate, it’s all about joy. Jacqueline wants people to smile when they see or think of her brand. So she and her team are more prone to donate to a cause or organization that has a similar goal.

Once you’ve decided on a focus for your strategy, let people know. Social media is a great tool to let people know what your business is up to. Think beyond sales and share the things you are doing that demonstrate your social consciousness.

People love to see what’s going on behind the scenes in real time, so try sharing photos on your business’s social feeds. Have your team share stories too. You might consider a shared account that trusted team members can access. That will give your posts some variety, offering different perspectives that could potentially appeal to a larger variety of consumers.

Another strategy Jacqueline uses is making sure her work has a WOW factor. When Jacqueline donates a box of chocolates to an event, people know they’re getting chocolate, but they often don’t expect the artistry that goes into her contribution. Often that WOW factor is what prompts people to share photos of her chocolates on their own social media channels. That results in additional exposure for both the charity and for JACEK Chocolates.

The final step in developing a socially conscious brand should include a plan to collect feedback on your efforts. For many small business owners, this can seem like a huge task that only larger corporations have the human capital to accomplish. But for JACEK Chocolates, that feedback is simply gathered from customers in the stores.

If you run a business where you are lucky enough to be able to interact with customers on a daily basis, make sure you listen to them. Any feedback (solicited or not) should be welcomed. Talk with your customers about the causes you support, let them know about a recent event you donated to, or ask them what charities are near and dear to their hearts.

In the end, it’s all about giving back and supporting your customers, your staff and their endeavours, and building your brand in a way that makes you feel good.

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