There is a great site I like to visit where I can see creative experts in action, Craftsy.com. I dream of the day I will turn into a committed crafter instead of an art procrastinator. This Mothers’ Day Craftsy.com is doing a free Watchathon weekend where you can watch all their crafting videos for FREE! Love it. I may not leave my computer long enough this weekend to put any of it into action (that’s not procrastination you see, I’m studying). Want to join in? Here’s the link.
I’d love to be one of those people who can just get on with a great creative project and voila: days, weeks or months later they have a finished result. A great dress, a soufflé, a coastal water colour or a beautifully beaded bag… this is, unfortunately, not me.
I may not have time to knit that amazing scarf, jumper… you name it, I promised myself I’d make my mother in time for THIS Mothers’ Day but I’ll be ready for next year. Maybe even start a great quilting project to make in time for Xmas? So what are you waiting for, get crafty here! I’m right behind you 🙂
I’m out and about in London. And I’m not the only one. I find myself here on a historic day when the question everyone asks you on first meeting is: are you In or Out. There can only be one subject under discussion on a day when everything changed but it all seems much the same. U.K.is leaving the EU.
On arrival in London I headed for High St Kensington towards the Gardens to an annual antiques and art fair. Couldn’t afford so much as a photo of most of the glorious items on sale but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I discovered the fabric designs of Edinburgh weavers and of Henry Moore and was reminded how much I love textiles. I was moved by the slightly eerie sculptures of Phillip Jackson.
Everyone I met was remarkably friendly, sharing knowledge freely and without a hint of disappointment that I wasn’t likely to be handing over my Amex any time soon. Even for the very small, framed piece of fabric by one of those little known Edinburgh Weavers. No really I couldn’t afford even that. Thank you so much.
I was (again) reminded just how much collectors are wiling to pay for Chinese art… A tiny Chinese ceramic pot much like an egg cup was on sale for well over $10,000. I couldn’t figure out why either.
I stopped for a sandwich on the temporary balcony created for the purpose at the show which overlooked the gates to the Kensington Gardens. As I munched my salmon bagel, I chatted with a couple of the dealers. One lovely lady saw no irony in bemoaning the fate of her family gardener’s need for 2 jobs to make ends meet and citing this type of situation as the reason for the Out vote. Perhaps we should all hire a gardener.
I still hadn’t had my fix of culture so headed for the V&A via the Royal Geographic Society which had a free exhibition of aerial views of the U.K. Seems everyone is looking at the big picture today.
Now I’m sitting in the internal courtyard cafe at the V&A museum sipping my annual Diet Coke on ice. I’ve found a quiet haven. In fact everywhere I’ve been today has had an unexpected air of tranquility. (Even Euston Station!)
The V&A gift shop is my last stop and what do I find but a piece of fabric the design of which is by none other than one of those Edinburgh Weavers, Keith Vaughan! This one I can afford!
I’m so delighted with my find as I feel I’ve discovered an unrecognised artifact after my lustful musings on similar exhibits at the art fair. So I buy two pieces just to reinforce the fact to myself!
It’s been a big day. Time to go back in; everyone will be out again tomorrow.
Follow Louis Vuitton: Connect with community, increase brand loyalty … and sales.
Today I see Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) is investing more than A$155m in a contemporary art museum and performance space via the Fondation Louis Vuitton. A little grand, I’ll admit but essentially it confirms the adage: connect with your community and your sales will benefit. CEO of LVMH Monseiur Bernard Arnault commented that the new museum in Paris is about sharing its values with the public. It’s certainly saying ‘we’re nice people, you would do well to do business with us’. And if Louis Vuitton sees the benefit of it, a brand that is synonymous with luxurious style and good taste, it would seem a good idea for us all to consider.
For instance, I’m delighted to see that Macy’s in the US raised more than US$3m with their Shop for a Cause promotion. Shop For A Cause is an all-day shopping pass for 25% off regular, sale and clearance merchandise throughout the store. Money raised helps many US charities.
As many of you may know, I believe corporate philanthropy is an oxymoron: I’m very keen on the idea that when companies help charities it’s a two-way arrangement – i.e. both sides benefit. After all, its their shareholders’ money that they are contributing so share holders usually want some kind of return on their investment. So I like the Macy’s model. I’d guess LVMH is not just in it for the continuing respect it creates for their brand but for the ongoing sales which may ensue.
But we don’t all have the resources of an international brand so I thought I’d share a few ways I’ve come across for companies to give back to the community and build their own sales and brand. That’s also why I started my own retail trading website http://www.joynin.com to assist Australian corporates and NFPs work together to mutual advantage.
Here are 7 ways companies with great products to make more sales and support their favourite charity.
Create an offer that benefits the charity and your brand. In Macy’s case, the charity sells discount vouchers for $5 each . The customer then uses those vouchers in store to obtain the Macy’s discount. Macy’s makes a sale (albeit discounted but they do that presumably with regular seasonal promotions) and the charity gets the $5.00. A good mutual benefit. And doesn’t Macy’s look good!? Balletonet in Australia will donate $5 from every pair of ballet flats purchased in October, to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. All ways to raise funds for charity and increase sales.
Offer useful goods in kind to drive PR opportunities. This is a common way companies offer to help charities: by providing goods and services at no or very low cost instead of actual cash. Valuable goods in kind should replace something that the NFP would otherwise have paid for therefore saving them real cash they can apply elsewhere. So most NFPs need assistance with accounting, auditing, IT, advertising. Can you help them cover the costs of these services by providing measurable, reliable assistance that you can then leverage in PR?
Skilled volunteering. This is a continuation of providing goods in kind but usually its called pro bono or skilled volunteering. By providing NFPs with skilled resources they would otherwise have to pay for, you do at least two things: You improve the knowledge and acumen of the NFP and you give your own staff members interesting opportunities to expand their business knowledge in new environments. A win:win.
Joint promotion to each others’ customers and market segments. When you work with a NFP to promote your business and your relationship with them, you potentially open up new markets or deepen penetration into both of your primary target audience segments. In this way, you attract new potential donors (or visitors, stakeholders) for the NFP and your business grows by selling products to new customers. When you create an attractive offer, both sides benefit.
Link to each others’ websites. A simple link and a profile of your charity partnerships on your website linking to theirs is a great way to promote their cause and show how much you care. It can enhance your brand equity.
Donate your discount! Don’t like offering discounts? Consider offering your customers the choice of say, 10% off a product which you’ll donate to a worthy cause. Research has shown that consumers respond to this kind of cause related marketing.
Make explicit your choice of charity or NFP partnership. By strategically considering and getting your staff involved with the decision on which organisation or cause you partner with, you are:
much more likely to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
able to do more good for that cause by focusing on it
likely to reduce the number of generic solicitations you receive from other organisations requesting support
able to build relationships with key business leaders and collaborate on more interesting and longer term projects
Joynin.com is a great new retail website that directs donations from sales of your products to your favourite cause. Help retain your brand values and raise much-needed funds for your favourite charity. To find out more visit www.joynin.com
I do hope this was helpful for you. I am always looking out for ways to help NFP organisations raise much-needed funds in the most economical and transparent way possible. Please do share your thoughts with me. And if you have a favourite NFP organisation (that includes sporting clubs, schools, hospitals etc.) that could use some donations, why not nominate them at www.joynin.com/ Happy shopping!