Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Call to Innovate: Co-Branding

Lance Armstrong: Live Strong
Could there be a better example of Cause Branding than the Nike partnership with Live Strong? Read more at Cone.

Per my last post, here is another follow-up to my “Hey, Nonprofits! Wake up! You can innovate or you can die article.

Can you add more value to your sponsorships by exploring co-branding?

Just take a look at corporate giving over the past 6 months.

If you are not considering ways to give your sponsors more return on their investment – more marketing bang for their philanthropic buck – you are on the wrong side of a quickening trend away from hand-outs and towards hand-in-hand partnerships.

One of the greatest and yet untapped assets within your organization is its brand: more specifically, the relationships that customers have to your brand.

Leveraging these relationships can be an incredibly valuable opportunity for any corporation. Your organization should consider how it can deliver customers to a corporation, and then offer that opportunity at a hefty price:

-          The supporters of animal organizations are likely strong prospects for everything from Kibbles ‘n Bits to the local perky-poodle salon. Your pet shelter has great access and strong brand recognition among some core users of those products: monetize it!

-          The parents who send their kids to your summer camp are buying everything from super-safe Volvos to Kumon Math and Reading Centers’ tutoring. Gaining access to those parents is worth a fine penny to those corporations.

-          The hundreds of people who drive their cars to your museum are all in need of oil changes, car washes, gasoline, etc. What would one of these companies be willing to pay for their flyer to go on every windshield (or, better yet, handed to them by the parking lot attendant when they drive in)?

-          The side of your food pantry’s warehouse faces a highway. That’s a billboard just waiting to earn money for you!

Think about all of the ways that you engage clients, volunteers, donors and the general community.

Now, think of all of the sponsors whom you solicit throughout the year.

Sure, they might like buying a table at your event. But in this economy, how much more confident would they be in the value of that table sponsorship if it also included the opportunity to put one of their coupons at every seat? Or if their sponsorship were bundled with one of the opportunities above?

Do not limit yourself to the silos of your revenue streams: think creatively about ways to bundle your various “assets” together into a package for your sponsors, and work with them to understand their goals.

Read more about co-branding with a corporate partner -- cause branding -- at the site of the people who invented the term... Cone:


What are the opportunities that you see at your organization?

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