Community Delivery
Community Delivery

How community can build your business

Who's in your community? 

It can be tough to stand out from the crowd and prove you’re a business that cares, especially if you’re seen as corporate. Engaging with and giving back to your community gives businesses an edge, building brand loyalty and getting people talking.

 

It's all about shared values

Donations

It's all about shared values

Businesses have to demonstrate their values in today’s shifting world. It’s no longer enough to say things like “we’re different because we listen” or “we’re different because we want to give back”. To really make their offer meaningful, reaching out to the community, and demonstrating the steps you have taken (e.g. donations, community support) is the most impactful way for businesses to make themselves genuinely visible.  

Who's in your community?

Local customer in shop

Who's in your community?

Your business already has a community, whether you realise it or not. It could be your regular customers, local residents, or your online fans. Leverage these communities by helping and involving them and you’ll help your business to grow. Of course, there are many different ways to do this and one of the easiest is to give back to them. Lots of small business owners might be slightly worried about the idea of donating revenue to charity or causes - after all, profit is a sensitive subject amongst fledgling businesses   – but in the long term, it could help increase your overall revenue.

 

 

 

Case Study: Change Please

Change Please Coffee

Case Study: Change Please

Basing your business model around giving back can kick-start your growth. All Change Please’ cups are recyclable, their beans come from farms that support communities and their baristas were all homeless before being trained and paid the London Living Wage. In just five years, Change Please has grown from one mobile coffee cart in London to 22 in major UK and US cities, and 100% of profits go to tackling homelessness. By engaging with Change Please, people feel they too are giving back, and publicly proving their values are aligned.

Other ways to give back

Mindful Chef Boxes

Other ways to give back

These models won’t work for everyone, but there are other ways to give back to the wider community, as food box delivery service MindfulChef do. The postal subscription service industry has boomed over the last five years. A quick Google shows a curious searcher endless variations on similar boxes, all eco-friendly, sustainable and containing local produce. So what sets MindfulChef apart? Their unique selling point: “For every box you buy, we donate a school meal to a child in poverty”. MindfulChef’s subscribers can enjoy a service they wanted anyway but know they’re still making a difference – and that inspires loyalty.

Engage with real people

Real Women

Engage with real people

If you’re not in a position for full-on philanthropy or charity, don’t despair – you can still involve your community and build a sense of belonging and brand loyalty. London underwear company Heist Studios has flourished since its inception in 2015, loved for the quality of its product, designed to offer a solution to real women’s frustrations. Much like personal care multinational Dove’s “real women” campaign, from the beginning, Heist’s ads have used real women of different shapes, ages and sizes, promoting an inclusive message that appeals to lots of women.

Create brand ambassadors

Brand ambassadors

Create brand ambassadors

Heist Studios took that message a step further recently, by including 150 of their customers, chosen at random, in the design process for its latest collection. This was a great way to underline that message of inclusivity, and make it really tangible. By featuring real women and showing how the product is solving their real problems, they’ve effectively created their own, authentic brand ambassadors – and proven their commitment to their customers along the way. 

Prove you're listening

social media feedback

Prove you're listening

You might not be able to involve the man/woman on the street in your product, but you can leverage social media, set up a forum or use testimonials from real people to get valuable public feedback and prove you’re acting on it. Too many brands say “You spoke – we listened” without backing up this sort of statement. However you choose to connect with your community, it can only benefit your business, your appeal as an employer and, of course, the people who consider themselves part of it.

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