Marketing tips for social enterprises

I was one of the speakers at the SEL Stepping it up Marketing conference this week. It was a great opportunity to hear some inspiring entrepreneurs talking about their businesses, and sharing their learning.  Sam Conniff of Livity the creative consultancy working with young people, for young people, and Carmel McConnell of Magic Breakfast, delivering free nutritious breakfasts to primary schoolchildren in greatest need, particularly stood out.  Both organisations are born of innovative ideas and brilliantly executed.  What really emerged from the day – which was extremely well attended – was that like any business, social enterprises need fantastic ideas, great services and products, and innovative management and communications to succeed.  Just as Fairtrade products can’t just rely on the Fairtrade Mark to set them apart, just saying you’re a social enterprise is not enough.  Some businesses, like La Fageda one of the leading yogurt brands in Spain, don’t mention they are a social enterprise up front at all. For those that love the brand – it’s a bonus to discover that it employs a large percentage of handicapped people. The ideal is to create a ‘unique selling proposition’ which combines the social mission of the business, and the excellence of its product or service…. a bit like Divine’s ‘Heavenly Chocolate with a Heart’. For more discussion on marketing issues for social businesses try Rob Greenland’s blog The Social Business. Posted by Charlotte


One Response to Marketing tips for social enterprises

  1. I think you’re bang on here Charlotte. It’s so important for a brand – whether a social enterprise or not – to have at its heart a coherent story, that comes through in every piece of communication. Sometimes the social enterprise status of a company should form part of that central story, sometimes not.

    I think you guys are doing a great job, firstly by knowing what your ‘brand story’ is, and secondly by telling it at every opportunity and through every piece of communication. Keep it up!

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