When a company or organization thinks of their role in their community, they are often limited by their idea of how others expect them to be. Taking the leap to be more than expected both sets the company apart and creates a lasting impression with those who experience what some might perceive as “out of character.”
Here are some strategies to effectively go beyond expectation to create a meaningful relationship with a targeted audience:
1. Buck Traditional Roles. A grocery store is expected to provide good, quality food for people to purchase, but when they start hosting community meetings and working to solve local issues, they’ve taken a risk to be bold and even more relevant. As a commercial center of most neighborhoods, this effort, when shared and promoted, creates an opportunity for a new conversation about the role of necessary retailers.
2. Think bigger. An firm that takes employee community service days to a monthly or weekly occurrence instead of annually — and has invited clients to join in — has decided to be more relevant to their world (if they’re picking the right projects). A few hours each week of office closure may very well increase productivity and provide purpose for the team. Make sure it’s not just the executives or just the administrative staff — rolling up your sleeves, side by side, builds internal community as you serve the community beyond the office walls.
3. Be Consistent. A restaurant that promises to deliver quality food knows that if the flavors are different every time a customer eats with them, the experience is unexpected and therefore, unreliable. Nothing is worse than over-promising and under-delivering, so make sure to be clear on what you can truly do on a regular basis. When you say you’ll do something on a schedule, do it. Be ambitious, but still to what you say.