Generous Brands Grow Authentically

December 13, 2015 / GRATITUDE IS THE ATTITUDE

Generous Brands Grow Authentically

December 13, 2015

Kurt Rahn Marketer and entrepreneur

Kurt Rahn is a marketer and entrepreneur committed to helping those in need around the world. For the last 10 years he’s been working to create movements of people helping children out of poverty at World Vision and is an artist on the side selling his work on Society6, Urban Outfitters and Fab.

Building a brand that genuinely connects with people is more important now than ever. Being a generous brand provides advantages in today's crowded and competitive marketplace. I’ve learned this first-hand while building my personal brand.

Selling art online is an incredibly competitive space. Over the past three years, I’ve been selling my personal artworks on various online platforms, and through a lot of hard work I’ve been able to build a decent following and gain an understanding of what my customers care about and value—which I’ve learned is to support brands that are authentic, transparent and genuine.

With crisis appearing daily in headlines, on television and in radio, it’s hard to ignore the Syrian refugee crisis. Becoming more and more compelled to help them, I wanted to find a way to assist beyond just a single donation. So using my brand, I exposed my audience to the crisis using a genuine narrative they can be a part of through personal art expression.

I wasn’t worried about sales—my goal was to expose the story to my audience with the goal of helping the refugees.

During the month of September, the entire month of art sales proceeds were donated to help the child refugees. By the end of the campaign, my sales had surpassed all other months. With the support of my brand audience, I was able to give thousands of dollars to people in need. Nearly a thousand people shared my art—it was the ultimate win-win. I was able to build a brand experience that inspired people while simultaneously helping refugees who were living in unimaginable conditions.

Promoting my art is not enough to make a huge impact on the crisis, but it did expose my audience to a topic they care about and gave them a way to become involved through a medium they already support and care about.

During this campaign, I learned the three uncommon advantages to being a generous brand.

  1. Your story will stand out. It’s tough to build a new product, brand or solution. In a crowded world, products and services need a story that will inspire people to connect to their brands along with a narrative that makes potential customers feel like they are not simply making a purchase, but are part of doing good in the world. Many of the people I’ve connected with who bought a piece of my art have shared that they like my generosity.
  1. Find passionate brand ambassadors. By being strategic about the cause a brand engages with can result in people who are already passionate about that cause, bringing a new audience into the brand. To align a cause with your brand purpose and audience, start by doing research to find out what causes or non-profits your current customers may already be supporting. Insights around your customers could lead to a group of cause-minded people who may be ready to become new brand loyalists. After I launched my campaign I was overwhelmed with my customers asking how they could help spread the word. They wanted to be part of a movement. They didn’t want to simply share my art—they wanted to share an inspiring story.
  1. Generosity will inspire you and your team. Building a brand takes a lot of time and effort. Being intentionally generous will help keep you and your team inspired. Because you’re not only selling your products, but also helping others, you’ll be inspired to be more creative and try new things.

 

How can generosity help your brand? Is there a cause you or your customers are already passionate about? Are you connected to a non-profit? It may be the idea that jumpstarts your business. At the very least, it will inspire and offer a greater vision for your brand.

Kurt Rahn Marketer and entrepreneur

Kurt Rahn is a marketer and entrepreneur committed to helping those in need around the world. For the last 10 years he’s been working to create movements of people helping children out of poverty at World Vision and is an artist on the side selling his work on Society6, Urban Outfitters and Fab.

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