Your business already has a perceived reputation, and here’s why you should care…

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines reputation as the “overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general.”

So what does your reputation have to do with marketing? Lots, but I’ll just touch on one interesting term that might be new to you: “Cause Marketing.”

In the book Zilch: How Businesses and Not-For-Profits Can Get More Bank with Less Buck, Nancy Lublin defines this term as “trading on the goodwill of a brand.” This looks different when crossing the divide of for-profit & not-for-profits, but the reasoning remains the same:

How can sharing a reputation with another organization affect your business?

To put it in general marketing terms: How does co-branding affect you?

You know that quote, “You are the people you surround yourself with?”  Well, it applies in business too.

In the not-for-profit sector, this critically impacts who an organization may accept donations from, as the reputation of another organization could positively or negatively affect its own. Businesses who share a reputation with certain non-profits might also benefit as being seen as more “generous” or “community-focused.

What about co-branding with another for-profit business?

Many partnerships have a positive impact on reputation. Just think about the number of fast-food chains that have “teamed up” with other restaurants or products.

You know that cheap toy your kid got on the last drive-through run? The fast-food restaurant got your money and your child’s undying devotion, and the toy company is now represented in your child’s vocabulary. That’s good marketing.

So think on this one:
Do you share your reputation?
Does it help or hinder business?
Can you capitalize on that connection?
Are you co-branding when appropriate?

The next time a partnership opportunity comes up, think it through!