-------------To be clear, this blog is about PR and communications for non-profits, not marketing strategies for large corporations. Still, there's an important lesson in this case study that should resonate with non-profit leaders and communicators: Perception = Reality.
Crate And Barrel campaign ties consumers to cause
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In trying to help teachers do their jobs better, the for-profit corporation Crate And Barrel learned a valuable lesson: Doing Good is Good for Business.
Crate And Barrel partnered with DonorsChoose.org in a campaign that was outlined at the recent Cause Marketing Forum in Chicago by Crate and Barrel director of marketing Kathy Paddor and DonorsChoose.org executive vice president of strategy and development Brita Lombardi.
Crate and Barrel customers were given gift certificates, custom designed with both brands, that they could redeem on the nonprofit’s Web site. The organization links teachers who request materials and experiences their students need with donors who give to the need they find most compelling. A total of $3.6 million in gift certificates was distributed. Google and Yahoo! use the gift certificates, too.
The redemption rate for spring 2006, spring 2007 and fall 2007 was 11.81 percent, with $558,394 raised for the nonprofit.
Polling results from a test group (which received the gift certificates) compared to a control group (which did not) showed:
- 82 percent of the test group said they would consider Crate and Barrel for their next home furnishing purchase, compared to 76 percent of the control group.
- 86 percent perceived Crate and Barrel as a high-quality company, compared to 76 percent of the control group.
- 75 percent saw Crate and Barrel as community minded, compared to 21 percent of the control group.
- 74 percent perceived Crate and Barrel as “the store for me,” compared to 64 percent of the control group.
In this case study, the two groups of consumers experienced exactly the same store and products ad sales associates, but those who were given the option to take a philanthropic action after leaving the store, perceived their experience very differently.
While your non-profit probably can't hand out gift-certificates to every person that interacts with your organization, what can you do to ensure they walk away from each experience they have with your organization with a positive perception? Are your volunteers thanked? Your event-attendees featured in organization newsletters and local media? Your visitors (whether online or off) welcomed and provided clear, compelling information?
What can you organization do today to improve the way that others perceive it? If you can improve the way others perceive your organization, you will be making a very real difference in your organization's overall success.