Sunday, December 20, 2009

Facebook’s Holiday Gift

A Present in a Tube
We received a gift from Facebook at work last week because we regularly advertise on Facebook. The gift came in a poster tube and had a cool "Open Here -- From your friends at Facebook" stamp on one end (see photo). Inside the tube were the following items:
  1. A really cool 19" x 19" letter-pressed poster that looks like a great graphic print, but when you look closely, there are words like "connect," "friend," and "since 2004" all over it. We're going to frame it and hang it.

  2. A letter-pressed postcard that can be used to spread the joy of Facebook.

  3. A cardboard coin with a big "$75" on it that says, "From your friends at Facebook -- for the public school of your choice" (see photo). This was definitely the coolest part of the gift.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
The $75 coin that we received is redeemable at Donors Choose is an amazing website where classrooms of students from around the country are able to request specific items that they'd like to purchase with donations that they receive through the site. We can give our $75 to one classroom or we can break up the money and give smaller amounts to several classrooms.

For example, a classroom in Chicago might be asking for $300 for a new aquarium so they can learn about fish. Or an elementary school in New York could be asking for $500 for a set of tumbling mats for PE class.

The site only features classrooms in the most needy areas in the country. Teachers from the classrooms write descriptions of what the class needs, and there are photos of the students included in several of the classroom descriptions.

The Holiday Spirit

I love the Facebook holiday gift because it captures the spirit of the holidays. It's very difficult to choose between the projects -- they're all great causes. It would have been easy for Facebook to make a lump-sum donation to some charities of their choice, but by letting its customers give to causes they deem worthy, Facebook is spreading the joy of the season.

Thank you, Facebook, for the opportunity to give back to some very worthy causes.

Add This to Your To-Do List

Does your business make charitable donations on an annual basis? Instead, consider letting your customers pick to which charities they'd like you to donate your money. Your customers will love the chance to do so, and they'll be very thankful to your company for the opportunity.

There's never a lack of ideas.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Valparaiso University Starts Marketing at Birth

An Idea is Born
When recent mothers who are alumnae of Valparaiso University write into their alma mater's alumni magazine to inform their classmates about their newly-born children, the university sends the recent mothers onesies that feature the Valpo logo.

Marketers are always trying to get their name brands in front of people as early into their lives as possible. There's nothing earlier than birth -- or is there?

Baby on Board
In addition to sending onesies to newborns, what if Valpo sent expecting mothers a t-shirt that said, "Future Valpo Alum on Board." Now that's as early as marketing gets in a child's life. It's also fun and memorable, and expecting moms would show off their t-shirts just like they show off their onesies. The alumni magazine would get more alumni updates, which would in turn give Valpo's development office more chances to solicit donations from the school's alumni. Everybody wins!

Add This to Your To-Do List
How early can you get your brand name in front of your audience? This is an especially important question to ask if you sell a product or service (like a college education) that generates income for life (like tuition and then donations as an alum). Free t-shirts for expectant mothers are the easiest way. What would your brand's t-shirt say? What would your brand's onesie say? I'd love to hear your ideas.

There's never a lack of ideas.

PS Thanks to Amy McMillan and Joan Williams for inspiring this post.