A community is a group of interacting humans sharing an environment. In communities, a number of conditions may be present and common, thus affecting the identity and cohesiveness of the community. Where does your business factor into your community? Here’s what a few well-known individuals have to say about the concept of community.
“If the community is happy, then they support your business. And if your business is doing well, then you can give back even more to the community.” – NBA star, Magic Johnson.
“You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar, author and businessman.
“When it comes to anything that’s social, whether it’s your family, your school, your community, your business or your country, winning is a team sport.” Bill Clinton, former US President.
Politicians, athletes and businessmen agree that community and business form a powerful alliance that equates into a win-win situation for all. How can your business contribute to the happiness of the community? How can you harness the power of community marketing?
Papa Murphy’s franchisee Scott Bauer owns eight units based in Northern California. Three years ago, Bauer participated in a community event where he sold his product and then donated the profits to the local recreation department. Okay … so the recreation department is happy, but what about Bauer?
“This event really opened our eyes to the power of having potential customers coming up to our booth and tasting our product,” he says. “The feeling of talking and promoting our product to potential customers outside the confines of our store was exciting.”
Bauer now participates in at least 36 annual events benefiting his community. As a result, brand awareness escalates. Subsequently, sales are up about 4 percent in the midst of a recession. Bauer now touts an excellence award for his marketing based on local involvement, dedication to brand and giving back to the community.
Evan G. Evans, Vice President of Field Marketing and Corporate Communications for Papa Murphy’s, encourages franchisees to spend about 20 percent of their marketing time and budget on community events. Evans says that “Local store marketing is a must; community and business need to come together. This affords the opportunity for consumers to taste the quality and understand the value of our product.”
While I get tired just thinking of what goes into hosting an event, I concur with Evans and Bauer that working alongside your community is an excellent and rewarding way to market your business.
Executive director of the Punxsutawney Area Community Center, Rob McCoy, says: “A few years ago I would go to Fox’s a few times, here and there, until I got to know the owner and all they had to offer.” As the owner of Fox’s Pizza Den, I stay attuned to ideas that I can implement in my community. While reading Pizza Today’s online bulletin boards I came across an idea about teaming up with a local organization to sell more pizzas. Basically, you set a goal and offer to donate $1 per pizza sold if the goal is met. My association with McCoy and the PACC convinced me to try this. Together we created ‘Eat a Pizza Make a Difference’. In one week I doubled my pizza sales and generated enough profit to donate $2 per pizza sold.
Ziglar’s quote earlier in this article is one of my favorites — because it works. I have put it to the test many times.
Businessmen often hesitate to embrace the rewards of giving. Open your eyes of understanding. View such community interaction as a program to earn the respect and loyalty of your market. Bauer sees his time and investment at local events not as mere charity, but as marketing dollars well spent. Try it yourself and see what happens. You’ll be glad you did. ?
Scott Anthony is a Fox’s Pizza Den franchisee in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today.