First, brands celebrate Black Friday with incredible sales. The biggest retail shopping day of the year rolls right into Small Business Saturday, when people are encouraged to support local businesses and smaller eCommerce shops, and then Cyber Monday, when the sales hit the Web once again. As Cyber Week continues, Giving Tuesday provides businesses the chance to make headlines, increase sales, and build loyalty by giving back.
Giving Tuesday is arguably as important to an organization’s reputation and public perception as the other deal-driven days that make up Cyber Week. But it’s important to look beyond Giving Tuesday as you craft a year-round strategy of sustainability and community support.
What Is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday in the week following Thanksgiving, takes place this year on November 30. It is an opportunity for brands to give back to their local communities, support charitable causes, and pet projects, and shed light on their overall mission and vision.
Why Is Giving Tuesday Important?
Today’s consumers seek ways to support brands that align with their values. One study from McKinsey & Company found that both Zoomers and Millennials want to support companies and brands that are mission driven, ethical, and sustainable. Most importantly, brands must be authentic. As Emma Spagnuolo, a McKinsey associate partner, pointed out in a podcast, “You can’t talk about sustainability if you’re not doing sustainable practices.”
Another report discovered that 62% of millennials favor products that showcase their political and social beliefs, and 65% have boycotted a brand that took a stance in opposition to their values. Perception of your brand matters more today than ever, and it must be consistent across all channels, from your messaging to your materials and manufacturing and distribution methods.
It’s also important to consumers that brands put money behind their favorite causes. Research from the Cone Cause Evolution Study discovered that 85% of consumers have a positive perception of an organization when it supports a charity or cause they care about, and 83% wish more products and services would support charitable causes.
There’s no better time to start giving back — to your local community or across the world — than Giving Tuesday. You’ll build brand loyalty, increase sales, and feel good about doing the right thing.
Companies Giving Back: Three Ways To Do It
When looking at companies giving back, you’ll see there are many ways to do so. Always remember that your actions should be in alignment with your brand — shoppers can sniff out an inauthentic ploy from a mile away.
Businesses can give their time or their money, or donate their products or services to those in need directly. As an operator, you can also institute apps and programs that make it easier for your customers to give back.
Giving Back Time
It’s not just shoppers who look to support brands in alignment with their values. Employees, too, are looking for their employers to be “a force for good in society,” according to a new report from Blue Beyond Consulting.
You can recruit your employees to volunteer for a cause. This could mean beautifying the downtown area in your city for the holidays or picking up trash at the beach or a local park. You could recruit your employees to serve meals at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving — or any day during the holiday season or throughout the year.
You can also give your time by supporting local businesses in your community. Even a like or share on a social media post, a positive review on Yelp, or a recommendation on Nextdoor can make a difference to your neighboring business owners. Look for opportunities to forge partnerships with other businesses in your community by offering a discount to customers who show a receipt from a neighboring store. There are so many ways to support your community around you year-round.
Of course, one of the easiest and simplest ways to make a difference is by making a donation. You can donate a portion of profits to a favorite cause or provide matching donations if your employees or customers donate, or help fund initiatives in your community or through organizations that align with your mission, vision, and values.
Companies can also make it easy for their customers to donate money to their favorite causes. The turnkey charitable-giving solution ShoppingGives allows shoppers to choose which cause they would like to donate to when they make a purchase. Its data-driven approach to cause marketing empowers brands to increase conversions by promoting corporate social responsibility.
Showing Your Commitment to Sustainability
For companies concerned about sustainability, EcoCart is an eCommerce plugin that encourages a cleaner checkout by allowing your customers to shop carbon-neutral with you. With one click at checkout, your customers can fund certified carbon offset projects (like planting trees or building wind farms) based on the exact carbon footprint of their order.
Similarly, Ecodrive helps you calculate your carbon footprint and then offset it through planting trees. It enables companies to market the initiative to acquire new customers and drive engagement in their community. Want to try it out? Ecodrive will cover all trees for online orders on Giving Tuesday with brands that start planting before 11/30/21. Get in touch with Ecodrive here.
Combining marketing initiatives with these cause driven partners sends a message about your brand overall. Having these options integrated into your site creates not only a seamless experience for your customers but also a very strong association between you and the kind of sustainable initiatives you’re going out of your way to promote.
Promote Your Efforts To Build Brand Loyalty and Increase Sales
Of course, whatever initiatives you embark upon, you want to make sure your audience knows. Invest in blog posts, share videos on social media, and advertise your company’s efforts on the homepage of your website.
You can share photos of your employees serving meals at a soup kitchen, or install a fundraising thermometer on your website to show how much your company and your customers have donated to a specific cause. Remember to use all relevant channels to share your message and spotlight your efforts to align your company’s values with its actions — on Giving Tuesday and beyond.
McKinsey & Company — Meet Generation Z: Shaping the future of shopping
Workday Podcast — McKinsey Expert on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting
Mageworx.com — 5 Ways Supporting Charities Can Benefit Your Business
Business.NextDoor.com — Creative Ways Your Business Can Give Back to the Community