The Memorial Day Weekend is approaching as I write this and I am reminded that those who served our country are among the most deserving of our support. When it comes to charity donations gym and fitness center owners can make a great contribution by including marketing promotions that give back.
I have a bias toward giving to veterans’ causes and I make no apologies for it. There’s a vast amount of need because, as a country, we’ve been asking so much of so many for so long now. It also troubles me to hear of the delays and shortcomings of the resources that are intended to serve veterans and to help them cope with the burden of their experiences and injuries.
So that is why I think it’s the perfect time to address the issue of donating to good causes through your gym. How do you run a promotion where part of the proceeds are donated? Is there any real value to it or is it a feel good thing to do? A gimmick? Or is it truly worthwhile and a matter of corporate responsibility?
The Results Are In On Promotions That Give Back
Different people have different needs when it comes to sharing. Some will be more self-interested or just keen to get a bargain on price. Others like the idea of doing something toward the greater good. I’m not putting a judgment out there either way, there’s just a documented variation in motivations, just as there’s a variation in values.
I have written about promotions before because they are so important to the gym ownership business model. Promotions that do something extra are expected by consumers to some extent. They are a great way to get your gym’s name out there. Promotions are a great way to support your membership levels. Not everyone will be responsive to one type of promotion so you need to make a broad appeal.
Creating a promotion that plays to positive desires is a good thing for everyone. Your business will get a benefit from doing social good. Helping to service the need that you support can be an extremely rewarding thing in itself. It will also generate good will with people who share the same values and those who respect that you are espousing worthy values regardless of their own choices and beliefs.
If you do a promotion where a certain percentage of purchases in a given month go to a given cause that can help with some to close the deal and bring them in. Similarly you can offer a gift card where you make a donation when the card is bought or when it’s redeemed or a bit of both. The thinking here is that people may be less hesitant to buy gift cards if there is an incentive to actually use them for the purpose for which they were gifted and not just set aside unredeemed. You can make a promotion for selling retail items like gym merchandise supplements and convenience items. Either you can make a donation from your revenue from goods and services or by stocking merchandise items that give to causes wholesale, as part of the purchase price.
Why I Support The Wounded Warrior Project
A cause that I particularly care about is the Wounded Warrior Project. There are more than 20 million vets living in America today and we’re still sending our young people out to serve and sacrifice on our behalf. What better way to give back than to support the people who’ve given so much for us? Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization that helps injured veterans help themselves and each other. They work to help vets integrate back into society, and to honor their efforts and sacrifice.
You have to consider many different approaches to promotion because your audience of potential and existing members have a diverse range of values and priorities. Different motivations require a variety of approaches in promotions. There is a definite advantage to including donations in your promotion. It can also be a very rewarding thing to do. In the comment section, I would love to hear your ideas for social promotions, what causes you believe in and support, and what kind of results you’ve had with promotions that give back.
Henderson, T, & Arora, N 2010, ‘LINKING A SOCIAL CAUSE TO PRODUCT PROMOTIONS: WHY IT WORKS AND HOW TO MAKE IT MORE EFFECTIVE’, Gfk-Marketing Intelligence Review, 2, 1, pp. 9-15, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 May 2014. http://www.gfkmir.com/issues/previous-issues/vol-2-no-1-2010/issue-01012010.html