By Kate Bednarski
For the complete story, see GearTrends® Fitness 2005, p. 32, "Passion to Profit"
Designing Your Passion Program
Follow these simple steps to define a passion marketing program:
1. Define Your Company Values
Get a handle on your values, and align the program to them to ensure integrity in aligning with a cause. One of the best ways to define the values of your company is to hire a firm to facilitate a half-day workshop with company management. That way, it gets done correctly and quickly. If you are the do-it-yourself type, here are the essentials:
- Choose someone to facilitate a meeting (Plan on at least two hours).
- Gather owners and managers away from day-to-day distractions.
- Before the meeting, each person privately lists his or her top 5-10 personal values.
- Each person shares his or her individual values, with the facilitator's help.
- Write each person’s values on board or tear sheets for the group to observe.
- Compare combined lists to find values that are repeated several times
Once you find repeated values you are on your way to finding a company value that could lead to choosing a cause.
2. Get Staff on Board
Once you have defined the company values, share them with your staff. (If your company is small, you could involve key staff in the planning meeting.) Communicate the values and solicit feedback about ways you can demonstrate your values everyday. Finally, share with all your intention of committing to a passion marketing program. Solicit their ideas for a cause you can support that mirrors your values. Consider making this into a fun contest!
3. Think about moves your customers
Do you know what causes your customers care about? To be effective, your passion program must align with your values and your customers’ concerns. Talk to them about it. Ask their opinion. You might want to do a short in-store or in-house survey.
4. Stick to it
Commit…commit…commit! Once you announce and roll-out your passion program you must stick to it. Nothing looks worse than starting a passion program and then pulling it – unless there is good reason you can explain. So do your homework, pick your passion partner well, commit for the long-haul, and build your reputation over time with employees, customers and the community.
5. Communicate Your Commitment
Tell your customers and the community about your program. Allocate some of your marketing budget to support communicating your new passion program and how it supports the values of your customers and company. Once you let your customers know through PR, ads, in-store posters and events, expect word-of-mouth to do the rest.
Don't miss the full story, "Passion Pays Off," in the GearTrends® Fitness 2005 issue, page 32. To download the full issue, go to www.geartrends.com/magazines.