For a guy that loves advertising I find holiday season advertising to be the most annoying and the least creative. This holiday season has been no different. Annoying, overplayed Christmas jingles, cheesy headlines, stereotypical car commercials showing someone receiving a brand new car with a big red bow on top, not to mention a barrage of online coupons that seem to fill up my email inbox every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. However, a recent blog post by Adage writer and fellow Gen Y blogger Adrienne Waldo made me realize that there are some bright spots in the world of holiday marketing this season.
In her post, Adrienne writes about the efforts of two non-profits that she supports/follows that are building awareness through great holiday marketing materials. Her post inspired me to talk about my own non-profit that I follow, support, and feel does great marketing through the use of several platforms.
Mocha Club is a an online community of people giving up the cost of 2 mochas a month – or $7 –to fund relief and development projects in Africa. Their efforts help with five main project areas: Clean Water, Education, Child Mothers + Women At Risk, Orphan Care + Vulnerable Children, and HIV/AIDS + Healthcare. I first became aware of Mocha Club back in 2006 thanks to Nashville based musicians Matt Wertz and Dave Barnes. Both artists have actively used their concerts as a platform to speak about Mocha Club and the various ways people can get involved and help to make a difference in Africa.
What I like about Mocha Club’s marketing strategy is that they understand that not everyone has a lot of money to spare, especially millenials, but still provides them with the tools to help them make a difference. Utilizing a community-based website, MC allows members to start a team and invite friends to join them in giving up the cost of 2 mochas a month to support their chosen project. MC realizes that today’s tech-savvy millenials want to help support various causes and can have a huge impact by using the viral nature of the web. They empower young people through social networking tools and provide a personalized experience which is always a smart approach when targeting Gen Yer’s. If you haven’t already heard of or seen Mocha Club’s marketing work you should check out the links within each section below!
Mocha Club’s community-based website: www.mochaclub.org allows members to start a team and invite friends to join them in giving up the cost of 2 mocha’s a month to support their chosen project.
The website design is simple, clean, easy to navigate and provides easy access right on the home page to an email sign up, live Twitter feed, link to the blog, Youtube videos and a Flickr feed with pictures from current projects. All of these allow members to find out what is going on with Mocha Club as well as see exactly how their money is being used. This does several important thing for MC: builds trust, creates passionate brand ambassadors, grows the MC community and strengthens the overall brand.
MC is aware of people’s general lack of trust that their money is being effective. One way they address this is by providing members with regular monthly email updates showing them exactly how their $7 is helping the people of Africa through videos and blogs of the specific projects they are supporting. A very smart approach when you’re trying to build trust with customers and within your brand community.
Just recently Mocha Club opened their own online store which includes, t-shirts, hoodies, CD’s, coffee, accessories and a really cool holiday gift card. The opening of an online store in time for the holiday season is huge move for MC because it allows people to not only sign up for a great cause but creates brand ambassadors. Click here to see their full line of products as well as their Christmas gift card.
Mocha Club provides a variety of ways for people to get involved with the MC brand including being a campus rep at your college, being a rep at a local concert, internships at their Nashville headquarters and opportunities to go on trips to Africa to work on actual MC projects. All of these allow people the chance to actively engage with the MC brand and help strengthen the cause they are donating to. This creates a sense of community and builds passionate and motivated brand ambassadors.
As a Gen Yer I appreciate organizations like Mocha Club who recognize the passion and the desire young people like myself have to help other people in the world and smartly uses the appropriate marketing channels to reach me and the rest of my generation.
That being said, I encourage everyone to donate to your favorite charity and make this holiday season a meaningful one. If you don’t have a favorite charity, I strongly encourage you to take a look at Mocha Club and consider becoming a part of this fantastic cause and community. Click here to view a list of Mocha Club projects you could donate to.
Do you donate to any cool causes? If so I’d love to hear about them!