*World's Biggest Pink Ribbon, Winn-Dixie, Oprah and Other Success Stories of Smart Partnering
to Sustain Businesses, Non-Profits and Communities*
by Kare Anderson
Emmy-winner, former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of SmartPartnering
World's Largest Pink Ribbon in Times Square
An ongoing 3M campaign to build the World's Largest Pink Ribbon attracted to it's Web site 1.1 million people from their home during the week ending August 29; and 950,000 people at work.
Together partners generated far more visibility and goodwill than they could have accomplished on their own.
To build the World's Largest Pink Ribbon in Times Square constructed of 75,000 pink Post-it Super Sticky Notes, to be revealed in October during the first week of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
This is not a random event.
It is part of a fast-growing trend:
Partnering with others who serve the same kind of customers to stand out in an over-advertised world
People even -it-up in time of need - quickly
Even as many Floridians were fleeing their homes to avoid Ivan, as they did Hurricane Frances, their *neighbors* in Florida and Georgia have innovated a small way to support them, just as they did last month after Hurricane Charley and tropical storm Bonnie hit.
When people visit a Winn-Dixie grocery store they can help towards storm relief by "evening it up" at the checkout counter. That is, they can have the teller round up their food bill to the next dollar, with the extra change going to the local Red Cross chapter for relief efforts.
People are partnering in unexpected ways - and winning the hearts of customers and communities:
Meeting planners take note:
- That's how Oprah Winfrey and General Motors could *make dreams come true* for 276 specially picked audience members this Monday - and reap millions of dollars of free media coverage for this heart-warming story. Women were escorted out to the parking lot where they saw rows of fully-loaded, beribboned Pontiac 6Gs to drive away. What a way to kick off the 19th season of The Oprah Winfrey Show and be top-of-mind for entertainment and car buying http://premium.money.cnn.com/2004/09/13/news/newsmakers/oprah.
- That's how pillow-maker, Leo Hollander, built his new brand visibility when he moved away from private labeling. He recruited a feng shui expert, chiropractor, and color specialist to offer articles on his new "Live Comfortably" Web at www.livecomfortably.com, thus boosting all partners' visibility and credibility.
- That's how Applebee's attracted more customers - many first-time visitors - to their family restaurants this summer, without advertising more.
- That's how T-shirt designer Tami Minatelli was able to exhibit at nine street fairs this summer without paying for her booth space. A new manufacturer of a unique, no-stain suntan lotion paid for Tami's booth.
Why? Because she wore their lotion and her T-shirts, with a sign above her head, describing her original painting-on-cotton method and the lotion's "do no harm" guarantee. Next to burn protection, that's the biggest concern of people who use suntan lotions.
When Weight Watchers designed and branded several low-cal menu items for Applebee's, followers of the Weight Watchers program (and those who were thinking of dieting) had a new reason to eat at Applebee's. Applebee's customers opened up their menus and saw how appetizing a Weight Watchers entree could be. Consumers got introduced to products by organizations they already knew and trusted.
- In fact, firefighters in Toluma used the same approach to buy a badly-needed but expensive piece of equipment, a deluge gun, without asking their cash-strapped city council for a single dime.
Here's how it happened. Business was slow all over their town. The firefighters were getting nowhere when they asked for donations from business owners experiencing a weak economy.
When they approached the manager of a Pizza Hut he said he didn't have the authority to donate money, but he had a better idea. "Here's what I can do. We can pick a Wednesday, say four weeks from today for a "Our Community Cares" day here. Typically I make $500 or so on Wednesdays. On that day, after we sell $500 worth, every dollar that comes in the front door I'll split with you. So if you inspire enough people to get a mouth-watering pizza to help the community on that day, you can raise more money than you just asked me for.
The firefighters loved the challenge. They hand painted banners which they asked the locally-owned supermarket and gas stations to put up on their outside walls. They had signs and announcements printed for free by the local copy shop - with a bright red *donated by* credit line to the copy shop on them.
The headline on the signs and flyers read, *Eat at Pizza Hut. Save a local life.* They visited offices complexes, even those with signs that read "No soliciting." Who's going to kick out the volunteer fire department, right? They went to apartment complexes, video rental outlets, grade and high schools. They put flyers and signs everywhere. And they attracted crowds wherever they went. Once people heard about their cause, handing out flyers was like giving away candy.
They got the signs in the windows of the downtown businesses, including a McDonald's two blocks away from Pizza Hut. They got free radio time and free newspaper coverage of their inspiring community story.
When Wednesday comes around, the place was packed, with an animated line of people out the door. They made enough money to get the deluge gun. Pizza Hut did not give cash donation but, instead, donated their best resource - pizza. They expanded their capacity to help a cause, got tremendous exposure and also got people to try their food.
Most importantly - it was a fair partnership because everyone contributed, so participants are likely to want to work together again.
In each story you just read, organizations that serve the same kind of consumers created new opportunities for and with each other, and so could you.
They didn't just forge a partnership.
They crafted what I call a *smart partnership"
Kare can also show you and your colleagues how to grow their food business faster with the right partners and methods - www.sayitbetter.com/client_list_food.html
Together, they attracted and delighted more people in their mutual market of people while spending less
As you can tell, any kind or size of organization can adopt this trend towards joining forces to generate more value and visibility together.
Perhaps that's why partnering is the fastest growing and most controversial marketing approach used today.
Warning: with the wrong partners or methods, your efforts can backfire You may irritate or even alienate prospective customers and supporters.
For example, New York Mayor Bloomberg's attempt to override other public officials with a unilateral deal to put Snapple - exclusively - in vending machines in city offices and schools - backfired. He got a barrage of bad publicity from angry local leaders.
Another example of a not-so-smart alliance: American Airlines partnered with companies to plaster their advertisements on the plane's pull-down trays. Talk about in-your-face invasive promotion.
Pick Your Partners with Care
One must pick partners with great care. Notice how one*sweet* cause campaign got lambasted last week while another attracted praise.
"Maybe Krispy Kreme should offer free coupons for insulin and syringes to the kids who end up with diabetes," said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert.
Krispy Kreme is lambasted by this watchdog group for its longtime program of rewarding students in kindergarten through sixth grade with a free doughnut for every A on their report card in communities across the country.
Yet there is nary a peep of protest when M&M; teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to raise funds through the sale of new "pink & white" M&M; candies. In fact, on behalf of a cause to keep women healthy, groups are jumping on the bandwagon to encourage people to buy a candy that is certainly no more nutritious than a donut.
In light of the alarming leap in obesity in the U.S. some long time partners may attract controversy today, as Krispy Kreme is learning the hard way.
The lesson? Stay clear of controversy. Even if the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation isn't criticized this time for what could be described as an unhealthy partner, it could be soon.
But recognize that partnering is a fast-growing trend because of its power. You can use it to stand out from your competition or provide a fresh reason for people to support your cause or buy your product. You, too, can become a bigger customer magnet.
The second lesson for you?
Don't waste any time.
Start a SmartPartnership soon.
Recruit your "A Team" of most popular, credible partners before your competitors do.
Just choose partners that can stand up to public scrutiny and a method that will delight rather than annoy your kind of consumers.
Remember, the bottom line benefit of this trend is that at the very least, with a partner, you get introduced to each other's customers.
See what some notable people say about this method at http://sayitbetter.com/grandstore/SP_1.html
SmartPartnering Success Stories From September, 2004
#1 Real Life Story
Tivo-Netflix Dream Team to Offer Instant Videos
When popular start-ups take business away from industry giants and the big guys start fighting back, the best tool to out-market them is often forging smart partnerships to generate fresh value and visibility.
That's what Netflix and Tivo announced today. The two companies that many early adopters in consumer media love are starting to work together to deliver rented movies via online connections to Tivo digital video recorders (DVRs).
The two firms, both of which have trounced traditional studios and networks out of thinking they can maintain the long stasis in their current distribution models, are both their category leaders currently, but both also are beginning to face competition by traditional players.
Blockbuster is gunning for Netflix, and pretty much all of the cable companies are now trying to offer DVR alternatives to Tivo.
The marriage of the two services opens up the opportunity for internet-style advertising and content subsidization of major studio movie rentals. Tivo's DVR technology enables advertisers to measurement the success of their advertising, a benefit that typically isn't found in broadcast media, or for that matter, movie rentals.
A largely unknown proportion of media consumption time has been increasingly soaked up with movie rentals, and these savvy firms' SmartPartnership may allow for that time to be re-incorporated into the media picture by advertisers - at least in terms of measuring its scale, if not providing insertions.
#2 Real Life Story
In the hot-selling new book, The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, Al and Laura Ries present a compelling case for PR over advertising by giving some very high profile examples of companies that have relied heavily on PR to spread the word.
Business owners can learn from these lessons and tap into the power of PR.
Tip: Want to maximize your PR efforts? Then evoke the Multiplier Effect:
Multiply the number of prospective customers you reach while spending less to reach them.
Stop "solo" PR efforts.
Leverage the power of your PR efforts by partnering with complementary partners who serve the same kind of people as you. Together you can generate more sales while spending less. How? You reach your hot prospects more frequently, credibly and memorable than you can on your own. At the very least, you get are introduced to your kind of customers by someone they already know and trust.
Bonus benefit: It is usually more fun to share your success with others where your work directly helps each other grow your businesses faster.
The secret is to pick the best partners and the right method to jumpstart a smart partnership. Learn exactly how in a book by an expert who has crafted 38 successful, customer-attracting partnerships and taught thousands of other business owners (and non-profit managers) how to grow their organizations faster.
No matter what kind or size of business or non-for-profit group you run, you'll discover that your best tool to keep it thriving is partnering Š the smart way.
Start soon, before your competitors grab the best partners and beat you to market with a method that makes them, not you, the top-of-mind choice in your market.
#3 Real Life Story
How Costly Are Inactive Workers?
Health is a top-of-the-mind concern for people over 50. With the spiraling cost of healthcare, employees share their concern. That's why a free, new tool was instantly popular with both groups. The Physical Inactivity Cost Calculator helps businesses and others calculate the financial costs of a physically inactive employee base. The formula is based on the cost of medical care, workers' compensation, and lost-productivity data to compute financial costs related to physical inactivity.
It was created by a SmartPartnership of 20 associations and government agencies with the unwieldy name Active Living Leadership and Fifty-Plus Lifelong Fitness. With obesity-related health care costs estimated at more than $117 billion a year, the partners hope that associations and businesses can help employees become more active by offering benefits such as gym memberships and incentives for walking and biking to work."
Tip: Make a valuable offer instantly available. In this example partners offered a first-ever breakthrough tool. Other options: serve a specific situation with a bundled set of your products and services. Include a sheet of hot tips with a list of resources including those provided by you and your partners.
With many partners (20 in the above example) you can:
Smart Partnering Success Story
- Offer greater value for far less cost
- Reach far more prospective customers
- Establish immediate credibility as a service-centered alliance that is far harder to achieve on your own.
Holiday Inn Express has a brand new SimplySmart shower program that will let consumers know about a $20 million upgrade that includes a multi-function showerhead by Kohler, upgraded towels, hookless shower curtains with curved rods and a new line of bath amenities.
In addition to a $10 million television ad campaign, the hotel chain will spend an undisclosed amount to promote the upgrades on billboards, the Internet and by direct mail, Holiday Inn Express senior VP-brand manager Jenifer Zeigler said yesterday. The ad campaign includes three characters, Chet, Lance and Roger, who use the new showerheads. The company will also promote the changes with in-room signage on the showerheads.
Zeigler added that Holiday Inn is also planning to distribute Holiday Inn Express-branded rally-towels at World Series games for fans to waive. A sweepstakes is also on the horizon, most likely after the rollout to all 13,500 hotels is completed in early 2005, Zeigler said.
The campaign is a follow up to Holiday Inn Express's 2003 breakfast bar initiative, in which each property began offering the same coffee and cinnamon buns on a daily basis, and incorporates its "Stay Smart" movement, in which average people gain extraordinary knowledge because they stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
Chef's Delicious Ways to Spur Spending
Read this article on how to attract more support, spending, media coverage and community goodwill while spending less - with the right partners & method - http://chef2chef.net/news/foodservice/Editorial-Chefs_Corner/About_Business_and_Community_Partnering.htm
©2004 by Kare Anderson. All rights reserved.
Kare Anderson is a behavioral futurist who speaks and writes about "Say It Better" methods of thoughtful communication, conflict resolution, cross-promotion and outreach, and multisensory techniques to create more memorable on-site experiences. An Emmy-winning former TV commentator, Wall Street Journal reporter she’s a national columnist in 98 monthly magazines (from Gourmet Retailer to Broadcast Engineering), nine-time author ( Getting What You Want, Pocket Cross-Promotions, Make Yourself Memorable, Beauty Inside Out, Cutting Deals With Unlikely Allies, Resolving Conflict Sooner . . .) and publisher of the "Say It Better" online newsletter now read by over 17,000 people in 32 countries, which is available free when you sign the guest book at her web site at www.sayitbetter.com. Anderson is the co-founder of The Compelling Communications Group
Kare Anderson's new e-book entitled, "SmartPartnering - How to Attract and Delight More Customers While Spending Less" will help you to discover how to find marketing partners that make sense, but more importantly, make sound financial sense. Order it today at SmartPartnering