When is it bragging?
You’re dedicated to your cause of making the world a better place to live. So much, in fact, that you’ve built it into your business model. You have favored charities. You actively promote certain causes.
So now it comes your marketing, and you get stalled.
It feels like you’re bragging. Are you?
I’ve seen a number of people get stuck on this. You want to be speaking authentically. And, honestly, you ARE helping the world through your contributions.
But you worry that people will think your ego has gotten out of hand. You might be more doing good works because you like how people will think of you, more than because you believe in how it benefits society.
It was Muhammad Ali who declared that “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” That’s a good sentiment, but the truth is that impressions matter. And Ali had the kind of ego consistent with saying that. You might be comfortable being a little more humble.
Here’s how we can approach this in our marketing:
- Be authentic. Tell people the story of why you chose this particular contribution, and the benefits you’re hoping will result from your generosity.
- Be honest. Don’t make it larger than it really is, but don’t make it smaller either. If this is core to your company’s philosophy, say that. But if you’re going to change it periodically to spread the love around a bit more, let people know this is who you’re focusing on for right now.
- Be consistent. Tell your customers, partners, and employees the same thing. People WILL pick up when the messages are different.
- Be accountable. Absolutely follow through on your promises, and make corrections if you err. When peoples’ hearts and emotions are involved, they’ll pay attention to your behaviors even more.
- Be a little humble. You’re probably not fixing the world single-handed, so don’t act as if you are. Even if you’re the primary donor to a cause, there’s plenty of recognition to go around for others who are helping out.
There’s an element of cultural sensitivity to this, so you’ll be trying to judge how the market will perceive you. The better you understand your customers, partners and employees, the easier it will be to pick the right tone.
But if you’re helping the world, let people know. They just may be willing to join you in your cause.
I blog regularly on this topic on a site called The Values Based Business. If you find this article interesting…