Grassroots Promotions: Can Community Service Raise Brand Awareness? By Jennifer LeClaire

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    Where there’s a need, there’s a SmartBox. Or so it may seem to the many communities across the nation in which the mobile self-storage company’s franchisees do business. SmartBox, one of the fastest-growing portable storage and moving companies in the U.S., has developed a habit of partnering with community organizations that have a compelling cause. It’s a give get relationship. SmartBox gives of its time and resources, and gets strong brand recognition in the local neighborhoods that are home to potential residential and corporate customers.

    Last June, for example, SmartBox partnered with the United Way of South Hampton Roads to assist victims of the tornado that hit Suffolk, Va. The company offered its “Smartboxes” at a discounted price in the wake of the storm that destroyed homes and businesses, flipping cars, mangling power, and injuring some 200 people. SmartBox and the United Way reserved more than 100 Smartboxes for tornado victims at a discounted rate of $39 for the first month.

    The franchisor’s community service mantra has made its way through SmartBox’s corporate culture, trickling all the way down to its franchisees. In February, SmartBox Chicago partnered with Chicago Cares to help the community service organization with storage and moving needs for a variety of its projects. Last November, SmartBox West Palm Beach, donated warehouse space to the local Salvation Army, which uses the space to store, stage, and distribute gifts for its holiday Angel Tree program. And, the list goes on …

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