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You Become An Influencer When You Serve Your Community

Being seen as approachable and doing our bit for the communities we serve, stamps the business mantra of it’s not all about me, it’s about you.

Here is the dictionary definition for altruism:

unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others

What I’m trying to highlight here is if we believe in a higher purpose than simply promoting the products or services that we represent, the perception of our audience towards our brands changes to one of approachability and having a personality that is true, believable and above all else, honest.

This then moves to a brand helping others and making other peoples lives better. Look no further than the Waitrose ‘Community Matters’ initiative where the retailer supports good causes by shoppers deciding who receives the £1,000 monthly donation.

This then moved a step further this year by introducing the new ‘grow and sell’ initiative whereby school children are encouraged with seed kits, equipment and instructions to take initiative by setting up stalls in stores to sell produce.

Rather than this article becoming an advert for Waitrose, what it highlights is that any company that takes an altruist approach makes a giant leap to influencer. When a company takes the time to be active and understand what’s important to the world around them, you then position your company as one that not just sells within the community but also serves it.

The future for brands is to put the ego to one side and leave this to the few who are happy to constantly promote themselves and shout out on the different platforms about how good they are at what they do. It’s time to stop saying, ‘work with us,’ but rather ‘how can we help?’

The altruistic brand has an audience who listens and happy to share experiences and make others lives better lives. Playing a wider role within the community is key to being seen as a trusted resource.

A good example since 2012 demonstrating a selfless spirit is the Dulux ‘Lets Colour Fund’ set up to transform and bring colour to communities that would have otherwise been left and unloved. This represents a brand not purely showcasing how good they are (overtly broadcasting), but demonstrating how useful they can be (generating trust).

The future success for companies is to become brands that others warm to and want to get to know better. We can all do this by contributing to the areas that we serve, or in the words of Winston Churchill:

“What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?”

Lets embrace helping others and our brands to play an integral role to serve a better purpose than purely selling.

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