In a crowded and busy market, how can you distinguish your business? Evidence shows that people associate co-operatives with trust and fairness. If you want to mark out your business, demonstrating that it is a co-op can be effective. Here are seven ways to promote your co-operative difference.
1. Embrace the Co-operative identity
The International Co-operative Alliance has made sure two simple tools are available to identify your business as a co-operative. Buy a .coop domain and use the COOP marque at identity.coop.
2. Use co-operative messages
Include messages about why your business, as a co-op, is unique. How many other businesses can say they are ‘owned by you’, for example, or that they ‘share their profits’?
3. Engage on social media
Whatever social media is right for your organisation, it’s a great opportunity to co-operate and easily talk directly with your members and customers.
4. Involve your staff
When your colleagues understand what a co-operative is and why it’s different, they can explain co-operation to customers.
5. Listen to your members
In a world where consumers want to be more closely connected to the businesses they choose to trade with, co-operatives show that people really do have an influence.
6. Try principle six
How better to reinforce your co-operative identity than telling customers that you work with ethical printers, community farms or co-operatively-owned accountants?
7. Quantify your impact
To show your co-operative difference, you need to collect data and tell people about the positive impact you have.
• Read more at: www.thenews.coop/identity
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