Blog: Brian Elias

Social responsibility has grown from business school curriculum and boardroom gab into a customer expectation. Brian Elias, founder and president of 1-800-HANSONS, says that when customers buy a company's products, they're also buying its stance on community involvement.

Community offerings may cost a little, but the return is immeasurable

We wrapped our 1-800-Hansons Sing-A-Jing Contest last month and the response was amazing!  The contest is not only a fun promotion, but also a way for people to participate in the musical process and interact with our company. I started the Sing-A-Jing three years ago because people would come up to me on the street saying "my kids always sing your jingle" or "we always have your jingle in our heads". I really wanted to get people excited about 1-800-HANSONS.  This year was different from years past because we involved schools and teachers by awarding individual winners with scholarships and their schools with funding. We approached music teachers and principals hoping they would help get kids and parents involved – you obtain a lot of buy in when schools back a project and this year the involvement was tremendous and the financial aspect was so important because schools are struggling right now.  It is extremely moving to watch these children give a project their all.  When you see the video submissions, the look of pride on their faces is overwhelming.  

Pursuing the community's involvement as a method for growing a business is a long-term strategy. Goodwill will give revenue a boost because many people and businesses prefer to buy from and work with trusted local companies when they can. If these parents, teachers, administrators and eventually children need the products and services I provide, they'll contact my company first.