For those who follow trends, generosity is becoming the next big thing in marketing

Alex J Geairns

As the media landscape changes, then new challenges continue to arise as businesses look at how to expose their brands in a way which delivers interest, and by consequence higher sales. The marketing gurus are currently talking about what can be described as 'The Three "G"s'. Rather than getting, it's all about giving, hence demonstrating your generosity.

Competition is fiercer than ever before, and the objective of every business is to look for a way to gain competitive advantage - to make your brand and your goods and services stand out from the crowd.

The world is, of course, changing. This is the generation hooked on social media, mobile phone 'apps', and doing your own online research. The potential client base is now better informed, being able to retrieve reviews, and search for the best price for the same product.

When we talk about 'getting', this means in terms of getting customers to purchase your projects and/or services, getting people to watch your advertisement, and perhaps getting them to recall your advertising slogans or imagery.

You have to tell the truth, as any sort of 'spin' is likely to be identified and jumped upon. Against this background the integrity of your band has to be worked on in every way possible. As such, the new power application is 'giving'. Your generosity will sit well with your established and potential consumers, as you will be seen as 'doing the right thing'.

How to define 'generosity marketing', then? It can manifest itself in many ways. Established methods are the usual sort of things - coupons with money off purchases (these are so easy now with how online shops are set up), 'flash sale' discounts where purchases are a special price for a limited time, or loyalty schemes for those who revisit you to make further purchases.

It could take the form of an online blog, where advice and directions to further information on a range of topics which chime with your products and services. You get the benefit of being helpful.

However, and this is where Hereward Media comes into its own, another option where you make your brand's mission connected to a way of serving your local community. For a local business, that's easy to define. For a national brand, it can be connected to the geography of your branches or offices. In terms of international businesses, the attention to detail at a 'grass roots' level can suggest an attention to detail which boosts the brand.

You can personalise the involvement by looking at case studies of some of those who have been helped by the work of Hereward Media - subject to the approval of the beneficiary concerned.

Funding is just one route to take with us. Donating staff and business time to a particular part of the project is something you can celebrate in publicity and media. From designing plans for office space, assembling donated furniture, redecorating parts of the studios, even volunteering for promotional roadshows and outside broadcasts, everything has a value. In all this activity, there is a chance to take part while exposing your products and services via the association given by the connected publicity.

You can be assured that some of this exposure can be priceless, especially when compared to how much such coverage would have cost the business via traditional advertising and marketing methods. Your story could take on a life of its own. All in all, it brings a sense of fun and involvement in raising your company's profile, all by making generosity a part of your marketing thinking.

When you are in competition with so many others for a slice of the business cake, then Unique Selling Points become essential for product recall in your potential customer base. They will find out about your company, what it does, how it does it, and more importantly remember you. It can make people view you as one of the 'good guys', and provide a reason to support you on an ongoing basis. And that means your generosity will aid your sales, and ensure some essential repeat business.