Saw what I think is a smart move by Sainsbury's in my local store this week. The only frustrating thing is that its an idea we proposed to Tesco a year ago! As part of their 140th birthday celebrations, Sainsbury's are inviting customers to nominate a local charity to support. The one with the most votes becomes the store's charity of the year.
I like this:
1. It makes CSR (corporate social responsibility) much more personal. Rather than a big national charity, you can support something local you really care about. CSR becomes "Consumer's Store Responsibility".
2. It gets customers involved and gives them a role in selecting the charities to support
3. It has the potential to create real buzz and word-of-mouth locally when the charity gets the money. There is a good chance you may hear a story from someone working for, or benefitting from, the charity.
4. It builds on an insight that shoppers main relationship is with their local store, not with the "corporate brand".