Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We All Love Gifts Regardless of the Size or Shape of the Box

These days, you don’t have to look too far to see companies you love giving back to the community in their own ways. Hair salon chains are no exception.

Have you heard of something called Hair Cuttery? Chances are you have, given that they have over 800 locations all over the United States. My own neighborhood has seven Hair Cuttery
locations within a 10 mile radius.

So, what makes Hair Cuttery so great? Just a few days ago, the company ended its 11th annual ‘Share a Haircut’ program. Take a look at what they had to say about it:

“We know a new haircut on the first day of school can help a child feel more confident and can make a big difference to start the next academic year,” said Dennis Ratner, founder and CEO of Hair Cuttery. “In these troubled economic times, we all need to do whatever we can to help those in need.”

From August 1-15, for every youngster (up to 18) who comes into any Hair Cuttery and gets a haircut, the company will donate a free haircut to a needy child in that community. Since beginning the Share a Haircut program, Hair Cuttery has donated over 500,000 free haircuts nation-wide! This year we're shooting for 60,000-that's a lot of haircuts!

Clearly, the program works. Otherwise, it wouldn’t continue to see the light of day. It’s simple to understand and even simpler to execute. And, did you notice that there’s no mention of cash anywhere? Hair Cuttery has successfully found a way to leverage its assets – the 800+ salon locations and accompanying hair stylists – to make an impact on a grassroots level in the lives of children with limited resources by offering them free haircuts every summer just before the school year begins.

So, they’re not saving lives or giving away millions of dollars to charity. Does that make the program any less successful? Nope. Brilliant, ain’t it?

And, the best part? You can do it, too.

Some key lessons we all can take away from the Hair Cuttery and its ‘Share a Haircut’ program include:

1. Developing a promotion anchored in charity can have all kinds of positive ripple effects like increased consumer brand loyalty, increased employee job satisfaction, and great marketing and PR results. The key is to strategize with your team on what kind of promotion makes most sense for your brand. Think about what kind of cause you wish to support and what level of results you hope to achieve. Those critical decisions will help you determine the call-to-action of your campaign, when and for what duration of time you should execute it, how you want to market it, and who will need to get involved to help make it happen.

2. Giving comes in multiple forms. Making an impact in your community doesn’t need to require boatloads of cash or even commitment to a single charity. Other ways to give back include donation of products and/or services and, of course, staff time. Figure out which of those forms of giving makes most sense for you and develop your campaign around that.

3. A small gift can go a long way. Lots of companies, especially smaller ones, have gotten the impression that you need tremendous resources to pull off a charitable campaign worth its salt. That’s not true. In a nutshell, the Hair Cuttery gives free hair cuts to kids for two weeks a year. The impact of the program is so large because it has 800+ salons to carry out the campaign. That ends up being a LOT of free haircuts! So, think about what kind of impact you’re looking to make: A huge one in a few people’s lives or a small one in a huge number of people’s lives? There’s really no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on what you can and want to do. Either way, a gift is a gift and someone’s going to appreciate it!

What else can we take away from this program? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

For more information about Hair Cuttery’s Share a Haircut program, visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment