According to the National Restaurant Association, 94 percent of restaurants make charitable contributions, adding up to $3 billion a year in charitable giving from one industry alone. Restaurateurs and other businesses in the hospitality industry tend to be invested in their communities and eager to give back. It’s not uncommon to see Little League teams and charitable events sponsored by local restaurants or hotels, and this commitment to community doesn’t go unnoticed by consumers.
When these businesses contribute to charities, they gain the advantage of the halo effect. This particular cognitive bias can cause consumers to judge a product as superior if the company selling the product donates to charity. In one relevant study, when consumers were told about a winery’s charitable donations to the American Heart Association, they rated the winery’s red wine as tasting better.
As with all things, there’s a catch. When companies blatantly advertise their charitable giving, it diminishes their impact. While giving is good, you’ll want to be creative about how you promote your efforts, and remember that nonprofit partnerships provide a variety of opportunities to boost your business. Try a few of these.
While self-promotion can weaken the halo effect, it wouldn’t hurt to have your nonprofit partner drop your name. They’ve got a broad email database, and most content generators are eager for something else to add value to emails and monthly newsletters. Ask your partner if they’d be willing to give you a shout out every once in a while in their communications.
You might also persuade your nonprofit partner to showcase your restaurant, hotel, or tourism agency on their website. This puts you in front of their visitors’ eyes and helps to polish that halo you get just by being associated with a charitable cause.
Time on stage
In the event of a charity event, see if you can work out an opportunity to get on stage. You might offer to give a motivational speech or to emcee. Again, just being associated with the charitable cause will give your business a boost so long as your connection feels sincere.
Presumably, you’re not the only community-minded business in your area. See if your nonprofit partner would be willing to arrange introductions between you and other sponsors that would be potential clients for your business.
Team up with your nonprofit partner when they’re planning an event to give both enterprises a boost. Ask your partner for event tickets to give away as a promotional effort. It will build excitement for the event and also remind your customers of your partnership with a valuable charitable organization.
If your nonprofit partner has an upcoming interview with a media outlet, ask if they’d be willing to give your business a plug. Even a quick mention by a charitable organization is enough to stimulate the halo effect.
At Morgan & Co., we’ve worked with some of the most acclaimed restaurants, hotel chains and tourist destinations in the region, and we’ve seen how the halo effect can impact a business’ reputation. We’ve helped to get charitable efforts the attention they deserve through cutting-edge technology, data-driven strategies, and creative thinking. Contact our team to learn how we can do the same for your brand.