Scaling Our Mission
We launched our new mission on August 1, 2011, and since then we've given away many hundreds of pepper sprays. A few dozen to joggers and Realtors, but the vast majority to college students (see Success Stories).
It's not as easy as it sounds! Each group we meet usually points us at another, and slowly but surely word spreads. Facebook and Twitter help too. But although our mission hasn't changed, the experience has made me realize that this is not going to scale unless we get help!
On the one hand, we could organize larger giveaway events (like at last years Realtor Roundup for example) and perhaps give away up to 1,000 pepper sprays in one go - but we can't afford that. Or we could continue with the 20-50 woman groups - but that will take forever.
What's the answer?
That's easy - we just need more people and more money!
Which got me thinking - who would pay for us to give away pepper sprays? Then I remembered what Blake Mycoskie wrote about his first partnership with AT&T:
If you incorporate giving into your business model, and give your business a mission larger than your bottom line, you also create opportunities that companies with more resources might not be able to enjoy. If it weren’t for this model, AT&T, Theory, Ralph Lauren, and all our other partners would not have approached us to collaborate. People want to feel they are making a difference..
Getting businesses involved
Businesses want to get involved with good things.. especially if they would normally advertise to your audience. So we need to find businesses who target groups such as women college students, women Realtors, etc.. and allow them to sponsor our giveaways. In return, they will (quite rightly) be associated with our mission.
When you have a story that’s larger and more interesting than your product or service—or you—other people and companies will want to incorporate your story into theirs to share in the halo effect. For TOMS, those people and companies included the publisher of Vogue, who gave TOMS as a holiday gift to his extraordinary list of contacts..
Here's an example of a business that is helping us: Central Texas Gun Works
Do you know a business that could help us? Call me direct on my cell, any time: 512-814-6192
Getting groups involved
Another idea for us to develop is to find groups to host their own pepper spray giveaway or fundraiser events. The groups could be anything from a book club to a school cheer team. Church groups to cycling clubs.
For a giveaway event we'll supply the materials at wholesale (we're have no intention of making money from giveaways) and help promote and organize their event. The advantage to the groups is obvious - at the very least much cheaper products for their members. But we hope that there are other advantages too, such as us publicising their group to a wider audience.
Do you know a group that may be interested? Please get them to call me direct on my cell, any time: 512-814-6192
Getting people involved
Lastly, individuals like you can help in so many ways. Send us a note, post a comment, like or share on facebook, tweet to your followers - just tell one friend. If you've received a pepper spray, please send us a photo. If you're a celebrity, send an autograph for us to auction. Send a donation.
I'd settle for you just tellng us that you believe in the mission - that women deserve the tools to protect themselves.
I'm always available - if you can help, please call me direct on my cell, any time: 512-814-6192