Posts from the ‘Case Study’ category

Wow Experiences and Liquid Content

Coca-Cola Journey and Wow Experiences
What can we learn from Coca-Cola’s marketing and advertising approach? 

Many, including Melinda Gates, have commented on how we in the social sector can learn from Coca-Cola’s place-based strategy. Now there’s more: the Coca-Cola Journey.

“Today, Coca-Cola is taking its digital communications to a new level,” said Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.  “Coca-Cola Journey is the most ambitious digital project Coca-Cola has ever undertaken, and we are doubling-down on our commitment to be a quality publisher of compelling content.

It is a wow experience.

In his book Platform, Michael Hyatt says that the essence of WOW is exceeding the customer’s current expectations. Coca-Cola achieves that with Coca-Cola Journey largely thanks to its smart packaging and display of quality content.

With Coca-Cola Journey,  you experience the Coca-Cola brand, its story and vision within a context that invites you to participate. Rather than provide a standard corporate website, you’re offered a dynamic, digital magazine that features original and curated content designed to invite conversation in a creative, welcoming way with a side of intrigue and delight.

Take notes.

Learning from Coca-Cola, here are just four items to consider as you continue to evolve your own digital presence:

1. Prioritize the user-experience. “More than anything, we prioritized what creates a great user experience over the latest design trends,” explains Ashley Brown, Coca-Cola’s Director of Digital Communications and Social Media. Yet–the site still has appealing design. Think wow, not just what’s hot now.

2. Speak visually. As Laura Kisailus of Forum One recently posted, “Visual media reigns supreme…consider the packaging of your content across the social web.” Coca-Cola takes this to heart by pulling some of its key data points and shaping them into a visual format.

3. Leverage inbound marketing. One of the biggest shifts in Coca-Cola’s web strategy is the strategic decision to be a quality publisher of compelling content. Many marketers see value in this type of shift but only a fraction of organizations have put resources behind it.

4. Create liquid content. Coca-Cola isn’t stopping with inbound marketing. They have bet the farm on content marketing with a “Content 2020” strategy. It’s mantra: “move from creative excellence to content excellence.” Content excellence equals liquid content, creating ideas that are contagious. As evidence, according to Marketing Week, Coca Cola’s new approach to creativity and advertising saw it create more than 120 pieces of content as part of its London 2012 Olympic sponsorship activity, compared with just three TV ad executions and six outdoor ad executions for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Go 70/20/10.

Watch the videos below on Coca-Cola’s full “Content 2020” strategy, especially time stamp 3:04 in the second video to learn more about Coca-Cola’s 70/20/10 principle to liquid content. In the comments, share how are you’re evolving your content efforts so we can also learn from each other. What barriers are working against you?

A Glow-In-The-Dark Design Solution to Behavior Change

The Netherlands are about to launch a “smart road” system that uses infrastrure to support behavior change through a design solution–glow-in-the-dark paint! Nancy Lee, the godmother of social marketing, shared this innovative approach to behavior change on today’s social marketing listserv saying:

“[It’ll] be interesting to see if a) it is effective and b) whether there are any unintended consequences such as an environmental impact from any toxics related to the materials. Hopefully [they] checked for that already.”

Innovative solutions often have at least one element in common–the creator’s ability to first identify a problem. (Side note: How do you train yourself to identify problems–large and small–that you can help solve? And yes, it takes training.) The designer behind the new Netherlands road system shares:

“One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave,” the designer behind the concept, Daan Roosegaarde, told “I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.”

How It Works

The “smart road” uses a photo-luminising powder that will replace road markings and special paint that will be used to paint markers along the road. The paint will charge in the sunlight, giving up to ten hours of glow-in-the-dark power come night time. For example, when temperatures fall to a certain point, images like snowflakes will become visible, indicating that the surface will likely be slippery.

Read the full story in to learn how the system works and how its creators say this is just the beginning to rethinking road and traffic safety through design. I also appreciate how this New York Times article, Dignifying Design, also emphasizes the art of “radical listening” to help us adjust our tool belts in how we approach creating a better world through design.

How are you applying design in your work?

Designing for Community Change

At the beginning of the month, Craig Lefebvre challenged us to 10 “What Ifs” for social marketing in the coming year. At the heart of Craig’s what ifs is a change in perspective in terms of approach. This shift is also reflected in the United States’ recently released Healthy People 2020 blueprint which is committed to improving the quality of our Nation’s health by producing a framework for public health prevention priorities and actions. Compared to Healthy People 2010, Healthy People 2020 includes:

  • Social determinants of health as a new topic area in the Healthy People 2020 framework, and
  • Determinants of Health are also one of the four new Foundation Health Measures which will be used as guides to monitor progress toward promoting health, preventing disease and disability, eliminating disparities, and improving quality of life in the United States.

One of the greatest ways that this shift is being applied in social marketing is by evolving the social marketing approach to influence systems, networks and environments. How? Through design–Let’s take a look at a couple examples.

Bertie County, North Carolina:  Teaching Design for Change

Designer Emily Pilloton is truly inspiring in her approach, her commitment and personal dedication to finding innovative solutions and sustainable approaches to positive social change. Pilloton founded Project H Design, a non-profit design firm where they apply the design process to catalyze communities and public education from within. In the presentation above, Pilloton shares with us the story of Bertie County. The county is the poorest in the state and faces a number of public health challenges that other rural areas may relate to including being a “rural ghetto,” dealing with “brain drain,” and having little access to creative capital.

However, the picture in Bertie County is becoming more vibrant thanks to Pilloton and others working to change the system–the environment. Pilloton walks us through the six steps her firm has applied to make change come to Bertie County:

  1. Design through action.
  2. Design with, not for.
  3. Design systems, not stuff.
  4. Document, share and measure.
  5. Start locally and scale globally.
  6. Build.

In short, Poilloton and the Project H team “design solutions that empower communities and build collective creative capital.” They might not say “we do social marketing” up front–but to me, that’s exactly what they’re doing and we can learn much from them. They are doing the work and taking the type of approach that the shift described above calls for and requires. And shown in Bertie County, this may mean that we need to get our hands dirty, ignite creativity, make genuine connections with those we want to serve, and have a personal conviction to see change happen.

Howard Roads, Virginia:  Designing for Physical Activity

This example comes from Rescue Social Change Group (RSCG). RSCG is a research, marketing and strategy firm where they focus on the relationship between identity and behavior to change behavior through culture. In this specific case, RSCG worked with Howards Roads, Virginia to promote physical activity amongst youth. The reason this case stands out is because it didn’t take the ‘easy button’ approach of pushing “get active” or “exercise more” messages to tweens and teens. Instead, they went a step further and actually designed an environment to promote physical activity for youth. They accomplished this by creating a step dancing league called Step Royale where teams compete throughout the year to earn the title of the best step team in Hampton Roads.

From What Ifs to What Next

Given these two examples, here are three “What Ifs” to add to the list:

  • What if public health wasn’t just about the message but also about the design, the system, the network and the environment?
  • What if public health wasn’t just the responsibility of public health folks but resonated and took root in our communities?
  • What if we didn’t ask what if–but instead, asked what’s next?

I’m almost thinking of a Roosevelt-New-Deal-sense of shared responsibility and commitment. The global citizen can start with us and our neighbors–We can design change in our communities.

Disclaimer: Healthy People 2020 is an initiative by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services–of which, is a client that I work with at IQ Solutions.

A Must-Read Case Study

If you’ve ever worked in fundraising, on developing partnerships, community building, or in campaign development, you want to read this case study. Which case study you ask? It’s the case study of how “Minnesota’s ‘Networked Nonprofits’ Raised Over 10M in One Day, with Only One Full-Time Employee!That case study.

For those who prefer, a highlight video is below. But, you want to head over to Beth Kanter’s blog and read the full case study about and the strategy they used to achieve such a feat.

Written by Jeff Achen,’s own interactive media strategist, I promise you will walk away both inspired and enlightened. Here’s a sneak peak:

Here at GiveMN, we’ve harnessed the power of our networks to raise record amounts of money online for nonprofits in Minnesota and engage record numbers of people in an annual, one-day giving event—Give to the Max Day.

On Nov. 16, 2010, we shattered our goal of 40,000 donors in 24 hours by engaging 42,596 unique donors who donated to their favorite nonprofits using the platform. All told, Minnesota nonprofits collectively raised $10,041,021 in one incredible day. [continue reading]

My big take-away from reading the case study is the amazing, incredible possibility of powerful partnerships and collaboration. Secondly, I am completely awed and greatly admire the approach this effort represents and inspires. not only achieved its goals–but also united a state around the causes and the people working to improve the lives of its citizens. Minnesotans may  have different challenges, interests and experiences, but no matter all of that, Minnesota is a shared commonality that used to help communicate that we are all in this together–a great message that obviously resonated with donors. Bravo!

Thank you Beth and Jeff for sharing!

Low Cost, High Impact? The Growing Potential of QR Codes

The other week, a woman asked me what she could do with little time and a little budget that would have a high impact. Her question was poignant and just about everyone in the room at the time could relate. Maybe you can. The phrase I often hear is “low risk, high impact.” Now however, with budgets being stretched like Mr. Fantastic–the focus is even more so: “low cost, low risk, and high impact.” This is a triple threat–that can be quite foreboding. Enter Manor, Texas.

The City of Manor, Texas recently received a Web and technology Gov 2.0 make-over. Dustin Haisler, Assistant City Manager and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the city provides a mini case study of all the innovations the city has integrated into its programs and services. All of the innovations aim to make the city more transparent, collaborative and participatory, but what caught my attention was the application of QR codes.

The City of Manor developed and launched a QR program providing “physical hyperlinks” from 35 points-of-interest around the community. The price? Free (except for printing).

QR-codes are multi-dimensional barcodes that can be read by barcode scanner applications (such as Google Goggles) that are available on most newer smartphones or that can be downloaded. The great potential? URLs can be embedded into QR Codes, for free and in less than 60 seconds! QR Codes, also referred to as paper-based hyperlinks, tie real-world objects to online content and can be located anywhere–on receipts, signs, advertisements, business cards, products, even Times Square–the list goes on.

QR stands for “quick response,” so that when a person comes across one, he or she can scan the barcode with his or her phone and be linked to more information through just a click of a button. For more information, SearchEngineLand lists a number of QR codes generators, readers, uses and over 15 organizations who have used QR codes including The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). NTEN used QR codes to conduct a scavenger hunt at the recent NTEN conference.

Additional examples of QR Codes making a low cost, impact:

  • Be the One–Save the Gulf Campaign: QR Codes were used to direct people to the campaign’s video and to sign the campaign’s petition.
  • The RememberMe’s Collaborative Art Project: OxFam and TOTeM supported, this project uses QR Codes on used clothing that point to audio-based stories of where the clothing originated.
  • Starbucks and Project Red: According to Joe Waters, Starbucks and Project Red are using QR codes on Starbuck’s mugs to engage people further in Project Red–highlighting the benefits of the program and engaging others in advocating for it. To me, this one is interesting as it highlights the linear model of viral sharing (one to one vs. one to many or many to many).

Before we get too excited, there are still questions I would love to have us answer:

  • Do people actually use QR codes?
  • How much time do people spend reading/scanning the information accessed through a QR code?
  • What audience groups are most likely to engage in QR codes?
  • What’s the ROI from some of the organizations using QR codes? The examples shared show the quick, easy and neat aspects of the technology. It would be great to see follow-up posts about the results achieved.

With Smartphones having a 21% share of American subscribers, you may want to think twice about if a QR Code program is right for you. However, with Nielsen predicting that 1 in 2 Americans will have a Smartphone by the end of 2011, the potential for high impact is there.

And for now, that may be all you need to know. If you are going about a QR Code program or know of research around these types of programs, please share it with us in the comments. Otherwise, what questions do you have around QR Codes? What am I missing?

flickr credit for photo: scott_bl8ke

The Story of a Church Making the Impossible, Possible

I wrote this post about a year ago and just re-discovered it this past weekend while doing some blog maintenance and wondered–why did I never post this? This is good stuff!

Yes, in the title, I said the church. I debated sharing this case study because I was afraid people might not read it because it says church. But then I thought, some just might read it because it does say church.

The focus in this post, however, is not the “church.” It’s about a creative, integrated strategy that utilizes a social marketing approach to achieve to strengthen America’s concept of love in the union of marriage. This love is admittedly, from the perspective of the Church, but don’t we always have the question in social marketing of – who decides? (That dear friends is another ethical conversation that can range to anything from paternalism to essentialism and everything in between.)

Onward. Have you taken the Love Dare? Is your marriage Fireproof? In the social marketing realm, there’s been talk about providing tools that equip and empower individuals to not only make personal behavior change but to help evangelize behavior change in their communities and networks. Let me walk you through a movement started at a church in Georgia.

Sherwood Baptist Church created Sherwood Pictures, a volunteer-driven moviemaking ministry in Georgia. This movie studio was created from within its congregation and uses volunteers to act, produce, film and market their movies. Sony caught on and premiered these movies across the United States in movie theaters everywhere. The movie studio’s goal is to harness the influential power of Hollywood to influence behavior change: adopting Christ as one’s God, while also working to address societal issues. Their first two movies were Flywheel, followed by Facing the Giants. Facing the Giants was a surprise hit and was the best-selling resource in Christian stores in 2007.

A Lesson from the Church on Social Marketing

Building on this momentum, their latest movie, Fireproof, went above and beyond the work that even Call+Response or Invisible Children have propelled. Not in terms of raising “awareness,” but due to the plethora of TOOLS the Fireproof movement has around it. First, Fireproof has a few interwoven objectives (according to the makers of the film):

  1. Show what real love is.
  2. Show how this love is integral for a successful marriage that is Fireproof against today’s high divorce rates.
  3. Show how families are a foundation of today’s society that should be nurtured.

I’m not here to debate whether you agree or disagree with the message behind the movie. But look at the TOOLS! These tools help someone commit to changing, take action to change and help them maintain that behavior over time while also encouraging others. What can this teach us about how to provide tools for people to address their health? Not just relationship health, but environmental health, public safety health, civil health, etc.

  • A national launch fueled through grassroots evangelists for “premiere night” with watch parties through already-built church networks.
  • Fireproof DVD and movie at a low price (about $8).
  • At purchase, you can opt-in: 1) their email list survey, their feedback survey, or for their ambassadors survey, where you can get involved in the MOVEMENT for healthy marriages.
  • Download and/or purchase an educational curriculum. This curriculum can be utilized in churches, small groups and/or between individuals to assist in marriage preparation classes or for sermon series.
  • Step-by-step DVD to assist in nurturing healthy discussion about the topics presented in the movie.
  • Because the movie is centered on a concept called, “The Love Dare,” which is a 40-day challenge to love your spouse. The producers of the movie actually wrote a hard copy of the “The Love Dare,” so that any couple can walk through the same process the actors in the movie did to nurture their relationship and/or marriage.
  • And, if you don’t have a way to view the movie, the movie “Fireproof” was also developed into a book for those that prefer reading to video.

As for promotion? It all started with Facing the Giants. A Christian movie produced by a church in Atlanta all by volunteers within the congregation that premiered through Sony in movie theaters across America. Congregations rallied around the movie and its purpose–here again, with Fireproof, people did the same. Couples, churches, communities, businesses, firefighters, and the Catholic community all pitched in to help promote the movement. In addition, any consumer who bought the materials online, could also opt-in to be an ambassador of the movement to arrange get togethers, watch parties and more around the central themes in the movie.

What This Means…

Let’s remember where this all started…at a church, by a group of volunteers wanting to a) show the power and love of God and 2) work to address societal issues in a big way. In other words–they started with their goals. They didn’t see barriers. They didn’t stop at possible. They saw the impossible and made it happen.

What does impossible look like to you? Make it possible.

PS: Interested in Christian churches who are creating a movie-making ministry? In McClean, Virginia, McLean Bible Church has a group of congregation members working to create a Christian movie studio, named In Jesus’ Name Productions. Their first movie, The Messiah, has a $75 million dollar budget and is due out 2012.

Behind the Scenes of NBC’s Parenthood Project

In the midst of reflecting on Pepsi Refresh, Disney and other CSR efforts, I received an email about another project with a social message–NBC’s Parenthood Project that worked in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club. Curious–I responded to the email asking if I could interview someone behind the campaign to learn about the inter-workings of business doing good.

Enter Cathy Goldman, NBC Vice President, Promotion & Brand Management. Cathy was kind enough to answer my questions. And while NBC didn’t answer all my questions, I find the answers fascinating. What I take away from both the Web site and Cathy’s answers is how integrated each facet of the project is–from the TV series, to leveraging social media through video, photos and text, to the universal concept of parenthood–all the way to identifying a non-profit that has a strong family strengthening initiative–it’s smart. Read for yourself and share your thoughts below:

SB:  Where did the idea for the Parenthood Project originate and how did it evolve?

CG:  Using our campaign strategy as inspiration, we wanted to give viewers an opportunity to participate in the dialogue that we began about what parenthood means to them. Considering this very relate-able topic, we thought tying in a charity component would resonate strongly not only with consumers but with talent. The talent participation has exceeded our expectations as they were all willing to share in the cause.

SB:  What are the goals of the Parenthood Project–What is NBC hoping to achieve?

CG:  There were a few goals, including: to elevate the conversation on what parenthood means; establish a dialogue with our viewers to make them feel involved with this highly relate-able topic; raise funds for a valuable charity that closely aligns with the show content, and tap into our talent to raise this topic into cultural relevance.

SB:  How did the Boys and Girls Club get involved?

CG:  We wanted to partner with a charity that had a national footprint, and after doing some research, we found that The Boys and Girls Club had a powerful family program (Family Strengthening Initiative) that provides viable resources for families

SB:  How did you decide to involve people through social media–and how did you choose which social media to include?

CG:  In all of our marketing communications, we look for ways to utilize and leverage social media tools. Since the main underpinnings of social media are meant to break down walls between people and their circle of friends and influencers, we concluded it was an important tactic that would elevate and amplify the messaging of this important project.

SB:  More and more, we’re seeing an increase in social media for social good–especially in the arena of corporate social responsibility. Why do you think that is? How can we continue to improve upon past success?

CG:  The heart of social media is the idea that people have their own online communities–and what better way to maximize those new connections for people than to incorporate a pro-social message.

The Fight for Good: Disney vs. Pepsi

Lots has been said about Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Project. However, not as much has been said about Disney’s “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.” Why?

Both projects launched around the same time and both stand to do good. Thus, let’s match them up and see who’s left standing: Disney or Pepsi. Let’s begin.


Disney: Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.
What: Inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service.
How: Individuals can sign-up to volunteer at participating community organizations in their area. In return, that person will be awarded with a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free.
When: Jan. 1, 2010–Dec. 15, 2010

Pepsi: Refresh Everything Project
What: Award a total of $20 million in grants.
How: Engaging in a social good crowdsourcing experiment.
When: Early 2010

Round 1: Program

Disney: It’s simple–give a day, get a day. It’s easy to understand and process. It’s national yet local–and is on the tail of national calls to service and volunteerism. It’s also collaborative by working with organizations across the nation. It’s also customizable and has something for everyone as any person wanting to participate can type in their zip code and find volunteer opportunities in eight different categories: animals and environment, arts and culture, children and youth, community, education and technology, health and human services, hunger and homelessness, and seniors and elder care.

Pepsi: It’s innovative, creative and “sexy.” It’s also a big investment–$20 million big. Pepsi is also a heavy hitter, and has entered the social good space by doing something new and doing it first, which can work to their advantage. The project is also inclusive–where anyone can submit an idea and anyone can vote up projects and ideas. Pepsi, like Disney, has also divided up the entries into different categories for people to consider: health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods, and education.

Round 2: Usability

Disney: The landing page for this initiative is a bit buried and there is no friendly URL. However, once there, Disney outlines the steps a person needs to take pretty well and makes the process relatively simple. The downside-there’s a lot of small print.

Pepsi: For both Disney’s and Pepsi’s initiatives, you have to create an account. However, for those less technical, the Pepsi site may be harder to navigate and understand–given the complexity of the competition.

Round 3: Authenticity

Disney: This is being promoted–but not as heavily or perhaps just more traditionally as I have seen TV spots. You can argue you this two ways: First, perhaps Disney doesn’t want to dedicate as many resources to a do-good promotion. Or secondly, maybe they don’t want to wave their do-goodness around. Out of the two companies, I’d say Disney has had a tougher road to climb to gain consumer’s trust.

Pepsi: For Pepsi, the Refresh project was a cheaper investment than the Superbowl, and some would argue, is having a higher return on investment. However, it may be too early to tell just what the return on investment really is. What I have noticed–is that they are definitely promoting it through blogger outreach, social media, celebrity endorsement, television ads and Pepsi was also a sponsor to the Superbowl Fan Jam that aired on VH1. Some have also commented that Pepsi’s set-up of the Refresh Project doesn’t express a true commitment to the social change community and dub it more cause-washing. Either way, we’re all talking about it.

Round 4: Impact and Sustainability

Disney: In the short-term, a lot of projects will be accomplished. In the long-term, hopefully people will be inspired to continue volunteering and giving back to their communities. In addition, the participating organizations have an opportunity to engage new community members to their cause and build a long-term relationship with them.

Pepsi: In the short term, people can be inspired by the dreams and ideas for a better world. In the short term, many groups and individuals will receive much needed resources to make things happen and take the efforts to the next level. However, it will be the responsibility of these organizations to put the funds to good use and create and drive the impact and its sustainability. One could also argue it’s the voter’s responsibility to vote for those projects that will be sustainable.

Winner: Disney

While I give props to Pepsi, I think Disney edges them out and this is why:

1. I understand it. My friends, who aren’t bloggers and aren’t techy, know about it, get it, and are participating. It’s simple.

2. It works for both the short-term and the long-term. In the short-term, it encourages volunteering, while working to inspire volunteering as a normal and frequent experience in the long-term.

3. Everybody wins. The organizations get help and an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with volunteers. The volunteer gets a free ticket to Disney. Disney gets people in their parks where they are bound to buy food, souvenirs and more–not to mention the engagement and positive press.

4. It’s collaborative. Disney found a way to not just talk about collaboration, but actually do it. The Huffington Post even claims Disney’s program “is beautiful on so many dimensions.”


Where the Rubber Meets the Road

When defining the success of these initiatives, here’s the more important question:

  • For Pepsi/Disney, did the project increase sales of Pepsi or encourage more people to visit?
  • For the do-good community, what is the overall impact of these initiatives to our communities?

Now, what if it’s found that there is a larger impact to our community, but not an advance in sales? That is where I think the rubber will meet the road.. My hope, is that we can continue to learn from one another to make it a win-win so that more organizations think about doing good.

What are your thoughts–Disney or Pepsi?

Note, this write-up is without any specific background knowledge, research or documentation about these initiatives. Also, thank you Pepsi and Disney for embarking on these efforts, as I hope all of us continue to learn and discover new ways to make our world better.

flickr credit (in order): mrkalhoon, vrogy, Express Monorail

How a “Place” Strategy Can Change the World: Meet ColaLife

Not too long ago, we talked about the importance of social products as part of the marketing mix. For review, the marketing mix is made up of the four p’s: product, price, promotion, and place. In the world of social marketing and social change initiatives, the “promotion p” has been stealing the spotlight for quite a while. This is why I want to highlight this amazingly wonderful place social marketing strategy–Meet ColaLife.

ColaLife, is a non-profit that is lobbying Coca-Cola to leverage its worldwide distribution channels to provide social products that help sustain life and improve public health. How exactly? –With some creative packaging in the form of “Aidpods.” With the help of these aidpods, Cola Life hopes to help achieve the following three goals:

  1. Reduce child mortality in developing countries (= UN Millennium Development Goal #4)
  2. Improve maternal health (= UN Millennium Development Goal #5)
  3. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases (= UN Millennium Development Goal #6)

You can read more about the organization’s aims and objectives, but overall, I think the idea is brilliant. At just about any public health conference I’ve been to, someone always references Coca-Cola as having the classic place (distribution) marketing strategy. Now, that same strategy can actually be leveraged to make a difference. There’s just one hitch…

Coca-Cola, or a similar corporate organization, has to sign on first. ColaLife has already had a successful trial of the program in Tanzania, and currently it’s focusing on spreading awareness of the project and gaining influence by talking with stakeholders and reviewing the strategy and overall plan. If interested, here’s five ways we can help:

  1. Follow @colalife on Twitter.
  2. Become a fan of the initiative on Facebook.
  3. Create your own aidpod.
  4. Watch the potential of this project by viewing ColaLife’s online videos.
  5. Donate.

Take away: This is one example of using a place strategy to do social marketing and in effect, create social change for the better. Thought: What distribution channels currently exist in your community that can be leveraged for social good?

Defining Your Organization’s Story

I believe the importance of storytelling is currently under-utilized in the market–yet it’s becoming ever more needed. As a customer myself, I value companies that take a position, that share their values and back them up with action–companies that are more than a company–but a passionate group of people not afraid to add to the manuscript.

But as an organization–how do you get everyone on the same page? Sure–a communications brief, a missions statement, or a value statement might provide a route to defining one’s table of contents. However, constructing those documents can be an intimidating, formal and painstakingly long process. So, I have another remedy for you.

Jump over to Ogilvy PR’s recent post where Patagonia’s VP of Marketing shares Patagonia’s story. The simple, bullet format provided offers insight into the values Patagonia has, the position it takes and how it translates both into business.When done reading, try the exercise out for your own organization. Try it with a colleague or even try it with a customer–what were your answers? Did you have an answer? And if you did the exercise with someone else–how’d the answers differ?

Now, my next question: What process might you recommend for an organization wanting to define its story?

PS: I want to give props to an organization who is doing this right (examples always help)–> Worldways Social Marketing. The title of their blog is my favorite title of any blog, We Take Sides. It tells me where they stand. It gives me a feel for the type of company they are, and communicates to me that they are a passionate group of people who believe in what they do–without any corporate speak. Your turn: Who do you think is doing it right?

flickr photo credit: JeremyHall