The holidays are a time for giving. Whether we’re helping out at a local food pantry or donating a few dollars to Meals on Wheels, it’s a great time to spread hope and good cheer throughout our communities.
While this might be easy for an individual, brands sometimes have a hard time identifying ways to give back. Creating a brand mission can be difficult. Finding specific charities or events to partner with, even more so.
Let’s look at some of the ways your ecommerce brand can give back to the causes you care about most this holiday season.
Why Should Your Ecommerce Brand Give Back?
First, we need to emphasize how important it is for ecommerce companies to get involved with charities, nonprofits and community organizations. Of course you should be giving out of the kindness of your heart, but defining a mission and engaging with community outreach can greatly impact how your brand is perceived by consumers — and your bottom line.
It can help improve your brand recognition with the next generation of consumers. “Gen Z really gravitates towards purpose-driven brands that reflect their values,” says Hana Ben-Shabat, founder of Gen Z Planet. “Clarifying your brand purpose is the starting point of winning the heart of this generation.”
By clearly defining your brand’s mission, you’re not only giving consumers a way to identify your brand, but you’re also standing out from the competition. This recognition as an activist brand can help in other ways, too.
Strategies for Creating and Sharing Your Brand Mission
You’re probably familiar with brand mission statements. Plenty of companies have chapter-long manifestos about their purpose and how they intend to impact the world.
While these are great pieces of marketing content, they’re definitely not mission statements. Instead of going full-on William Shakespeare with your mission statement, try to keep these things in mind:
- The shorter the better. Try to boil your mission down to what you find important, and how you intend to help.
- Clearly communicate your message. Don’t inundate your audience with jargon and industry terms. Keep it simple.
- Make it action oriented. Define your goals and how you intend to achieve them.
- Keep it real. Modern consumers are smart, and can smell inauthenticity from a mile away. Don’t make promises that you don’t intend to keep.
Now that you’ve written your brand mission, it’s time to share it with the world.
1. On your website.
Everything you do as a brand should reflect your mission, from your messaging to your product. A visitor to your store should easily be able to see what you stand for and how you work to achieve your mission.
2. On social media.
You don’t have to be a social media maven to make your mission stand out online. Follow accounts that match your goals. Find potential partners that can help amplify your message (and vice versa). Simply being present and a part of the discussion is key.
Once you grow your network and identify shared causes with your audience, you can also use your social media platforms to sell products.
3. In marketing materials.
Every touchpoint you have with a customer is a potential opportunity to expand on your mission.
Email marketing, for instance, is a great way to send immediate, personalized communications with the people who will help grow your brand. Instead of getting lost in their inboxes, create emails that speak to your shared values and stand out from the crowd.
How to Give Back this Holiday Season
1. Partner with a Business that Shares Your Mission.
One of the best ways to amplify your mission and give back to the community is by partnering with businesses that share your values. By finding and connecting with these companies or charities, you’re opening your brand up to a world of growth.
How do you know which brands are the right ones to partner with? Check your social media accounts. There you can see what brands and charities your current customers interact with most. Once you’ve found a partner you think would be a match, reach out to see how you can help each other. You’d be surprised how easy it can be to grow your network when you find that you each share a passion for giving back.
2. Help Customers Donate to Causes They Care About.
Once you’ve identified ideal nonprofit or business partners, it’s time to start giving back. Many businesses take portions of profits and donate them to specific causes. By putting your money where your mouth is, you show existing and potential customers that you’re not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.
Plus, once you start giving, you can start getting your customers involved, too.
Add Donations to Checkout with PayPal’s Giving Platform
A quick, easy way to allow customers to donate is by adding a donation option at checkout. An extra dollar or two won’t break the bank when a customer adds it onto a purchase they’re already making. There are also a variety of tools you can use to make this process as easy as possible, like the PayPal Giving Platform.
The PayPal Giving Platform enables merchants and sellers to connect consumers with charitable causes, offering businesses the opportunity to enhance their brand and grow. PayPal works with ecommerce companies of all kinds to help them collect donations for a variety of organizations, from nationally registered nonprofits to local businesses.
“Every year during the holidays we are moved and inspired by the generosity of our PayPal community, as millions of our customers turn to our platform to support the causes they care about,” said Oktay Dogramaci, VP, PayPal Giving. “A big driver during the holidays is consumers wanting to do business with socially responsible companies that have connected with charitable causes. Our fundraising platform enables businesses to give their customers flexible giving alternatives, so consumers can support the causes they care about the most.”
3. Donate Products or Services.
Money might make the world go ‘round, but sometimes products and actions can speak louder than words. Instead of (or in addition to) monetary donations, help out by donating some of your own products or services to causes that need them.
This is a great opportunity to get your brand and logo associated with the causes you care about most.
Services, of course, doesn’t have to mean donating a gift card. As the world begins to open from the closures of the COVID-19 pandemic, ecommerce businesses have plenty of opportunities to get involved in the real world.
Care about nature? Find a park to clean with your team. Want to help the homeless? Habitat for Humanity is always taking new applicants! There are tons of great ways that you can get involved in the causes you care about most, and your customers will notice.
Many ecommerce businesses find it challenging to give back. The hurdles of identifying a brand mission and how exactly to give often seem insurmountable. But, with a little brainstorming and marketing know-how, defining a mission can be all the push brands need to begin their giving journey.
From there, companies can begin to network with businesses that share their passions. They can donate to the causes they care about most. Tools like PayPal can make it easy for customers to share in their philanthropy. And now that the world is beginning to look a little more normal, brands can get out and show that their mission exists beyond the digital space.