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Crowdfunding: Another Tool in Your Marketing Tookit

Crowdfunding: Another Tool in Your Marketing Toolkit

“I’m a marketing consultant, what do I really know about Crowdfunding?” was the dialogue going on in my head when I received a phone call from a respected agency in Massachusetts asking if I was available to develop a presentation on Crowdfunding for their semi-annual meeting of non-profit agencies.

Fortunately, she couldn’t hear this brief, internal conversation and over the years I have learned not to share my every thought. I was grateful that my inner-entrepreneur immediately took over the real conversation and said, “While I’m not an expert on this hot topic, I have been watching it from my ‘marketing chair’ and see it as another tool in a small business owner’s marketing toolkit to help promote and grow their business.”

Sold! She loved this angle so I was hired and began to think of the best way to put together a dynamic, one-hour presentation on Crowdfunding, making it valuable for folks contemplating a campaign to raise funding for their business venture and educational for individuals not ready or just curious to learn more.

Most of you know my perspective on luck, we create our own as we proactively do the ‘right’ business activities. So, as luck would have it, one of the women I’ve been mentoring over the last 10 years, Joanna Alberti, approached me as I was searching for the right story to share. She asked me if I thought it was a good idea to create a Kickstarter campaign to fund a booth at Surtex, one of the top licensing shows held annually in NYC.

small version of sophie on broadwayIf you’ve read either (maybe even both) of my books, you are familiar with Joanna’s story.  In 2005 she launched PhiloSophie’s®, a stationery and card business featuring the fabulous and fearless character, Sophie.  Joanna has already experienced a lot of success having been named the “Top 25 Under 25 Young Entrepreneurs” by Business Week and her cards can be found around the U.S. in stores like Target and Wegmans.

Now Joanna wants to take her business to the next level and was curious to learn if Crowdfunding was a good way to support her dreams. Damn – some times things fall perfectly into place and this was clearly one of those times. I definitely thought this was a great idea (not just because I needed a case study) but because Crowdfunding is a perfect match for her business.  To scale, Joanna needs more exposure, the kind that requires licensing her products to manufacturers. Combined with the fact that she is a part of the creative economy this was, without a doubt, a perfect fit.

So we were off and running at lighting speed. My presentation was in 3 weeks and we knew we needed to get the campaign completed before then, not just so I could feature her as a case study but to also ensure she had enough time to raise the funds required to pay for her booth at the Javits Center in NYC (not an inexpensive venue). So much to do… so little time to waste. If you’re considering launching a Crowdfunding campaign, below are the 9 steps that Joanna and I pursued. Trust me, the payoff has been significant. Within 72 hours, Joanna raised more than 50% of her $3,000 goal. Click here to check out Joanna’s campaign

9 Steps to Successful Crowdfunding

1)     Start with a SMART Goal. You’ve heard me talk about SMART goals before. Make sure your goal is Specific – Measurable – Actionable – Realistic and Time-Based. Of critical importance is ensuring your results are measurable in terms of dollars funded for your project, profit after fulfilling perks, exposure to new potential customers, and ROI on your time to create and fulfill the campaign.

2)     Think Location, Location, Location. Even online location matters so review the different Crowdfunding platforms. You have likely heard of the two major players (Kickstarter and Indiegogo), but there are do-it-yourself models and lots of other small players. They all have different audiences, criteria, and success rates. For example, Kickstarter campaigns have a 44% success rate, as opposed to Indiegogo whose success rate (according to sources like TechCrunch and the Verge) is only 9.3%. Data shows that 83% of Indiegogo companies have not raised at least 25% of their goal.

It’s important to understand the differences amongst the various platforms. Below I have provided details about Kickstarter and Indiegogo. However, there are many important details to consider when selecting your host location, so make sure you ask the right questions before you select a site.

  1. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing model, meaning that if you don’t hit your goal you do NOT get to keep any of the money. However, if you don’t hit your goal you are also not obligated to fulfill the perks. If you do meet your goal you will be required to pay them 5% of what you are funded (plus an Amazon processing fee).
  2. Indiegogo will allow you to keep all of the donations you receive (even if only raise a buck), but if you do not hit your target donation goal you will pay them a 9% fee (to keep the funds). If you hit your target you only pay a 4% fee, lower than Kickstarter. However, if you don’t hit your target and keep the money donated, you must fulfill all of the perks promised.

3)     Perks Engage and Support Your Brand. Give yourself time to develop perks that excite and interest your audience. Remember, these are branding opportunities so make sure whatever you give away, it is related to your business to help build your brand power. That means don’t give away a toaster if you’re a video producer. For PhiloSophie’s® Joanna decided to create 3 Limited Edition versions of Sophie in New York City. These are beautiful renderings only available to Kickstarter donors – something you will NOT find on her website. Depending on how much is donated, the design is offered in different formats ranging from notecards and prints to recyclable totes and trays.

revised kickstarter4)     Perk Fulfillment Must Be Realistic. Make sure your perks are cost effective so that fulfilling them doesn’t equal (or exceed, yikes) the price of the donation or you’ll find yourself in the same or worse financial position as you were at the beginning of the campaign. Easily said, this needs to be strategically determined. For example, offering mugs can be twice as expensive to fulfill as recyclable bags when you consider packaging and shipping costs. Plus, how many people are going to see a mug on the donor’s desk (unless they’re wildly popular) compared to the number of people who will see your design on recyclable bags every time the donor takes them to the store.

5)     Understand Donor Categories. Most people will donate at the lower end ($50 and under), so make sure you offer and can easily fulfill those perks so you’re not tarnishing your brand by not sending the promised items out in a timely manner. Joanna and I created an excel file with all the perks, cost, and profit for each and how many we would need to meet her donor goal and her actual profit (amount funded minus the cost of goods sold, including her time).  Again, you don’t want to spend 50 hours on a project that ultimately only generates a couple hundred dollars (you could work at a fast food chain and make more money).

6)     Determine Approximate Range of Donors Required for Profit. Create a simple excel file that shows donation total, profit, and number of funders in each category. Manipulate the cells for the “number of funders” to see how much donation revenue and profit you’ll make depending on how many people donate in each category (i.e., 50 donors give $10 and 2 give $150). This creates a visual starting point so you understand approximately how many folks you need to make enough money to take your business to the next level. Continue plugging the actual numbers into the excel file as the campaign progresses so you know how profitable the campaign will be.

7)     Remember, this as a Marketing Campaign. A Crowdfunding campaign can and should mimic a typical marketing campaign. Let’s consider all the benefits that can be generated by a campaign.  To name just a few:

  1. Raise or generate money
  2. Uncover customer needs and interest in your product
  3. Validate a concept and/or identify key value proposition
  4. Test messaging
  5. Generate interest or create a buzz about your product or company
  6. Create brand awareness
  7. Create early adopters, raving fans, promoters, and a solid customer base

Notice how these benefits are precisely what you will achieve from a marketing campaign to promote your business. I know you wouldn’t dream of putting together a marketing campaign and not follow through with the all activities to ensure its success. Crowdfunding is no different. Focus on ensuring its success to achieve benefits that exceed the donation amounts.

8)     Launch an Integrated Campaign. Once you recognize the critical marketing benefits you can achieve, now is the time to create and launch your fully integrated marketing campaign. You want to ensure that your friends and family are not the sole sources of your funding. If that is the only audience you reach then you have lost an important opportunity to expand your reach and target new customers. To expand your customer touchpoints you need to focus on a variety of online and offline tools. For PhiloSophie’s® this included: email blasts, Facebook posts, Blogging, Tweeting, LinkedIn shares, newsletter outreach, and partnering with other brands to promote the opportunity. Don’t underestimate the time it will take to develop and run the campaign for the 30 days (or whatever time period you select) until you are completed. Many donations come in at the very end… you will want to ensure you have the ‘marketing copy’ ready to roll out the campaign before you launch (remember, you’re still running your business while managing this campaign).

9)     Measure, Analyze, and Course Correct as Needed. You must review the metrics that tell the story of your campaign’s success (or failure – but hopefully not). Even if you hate number crunching, this process is critical to ensure you are achieving your stated goals and can make changes as required if something isn’t working as anticipated. Here are some numbers you should focus on, but each campaign is different. Most of the Crowdfunding sites offer tools to help you do this.

  1. Number of visits each day and after marketing pushes
  2. Number of video/site views and percent that pledged
  3. Contributions after marketing pushes and by contribution amount
  4. Pledges from external referrers (outside the platform)
  5. Popularity of each reward category
  6. Visits from your website and other social media sites

So, are you excited about the opportunity or have I scared you off? Here’s a summary of the Lessons Learned from the PhiloSophie’s® Kickstarter Campaign:

  • Select the right venue (location, location)
  • Advanced planning drives traffic
  • Perks are a branding opportunity
  • Make sure you understand profit not just donations
  • Analyze, analyze, analyze
  • Remember – this must be an integrated approach

Best of luck growing your business and using all the marketing tools available to build your brand. If I can be of any assistance, don’t hesitate to email me at beth@m-edge.com. Click here to check out Joanna’s campaign!

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Nigeria – Hope On the Edge of Chaos, Crime and Corruption

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Ever wonder where all the Volkswagen Microbuses from a bygone era disappeared to? It turns out they’re alive and bustling around, albeit at a very slow pace, in Lagos, Nigeria where I just returned from a speaking engagement on innovation and entrepreneurship.This month I share with you my impression of Nigeria, a place filled with paradoxes… the people are beautiful, hopeful and impassioned about making change happen while the streets are littered with garbage, rotting with sinkholes so enormous they could consume small children.There is a level of chaos that I have never experienced previously, not even during my multiple trips to China. Everybody is on the move yet they’re getting nowhere fast because there’s no order to the flow of traffic. This is a place void of traffic lights and seemingly traffic laws. The lack of infrastructure was haunting, yet the call for change from the people with whom I spent four days inspired me and I hope my stories will inspire you as well.Beth

Hope on the Edge of Chaos
Nigeria overview

Lagos, the largest city in Africa, is a blend of chaos and pollution mixed with passionate, energized Nigerians aimed at saving their country from the crime, poverty and go-slows (traffic jams) that plague innovation and growth.

This is a city filled with energy that can be deafening and yet defining as the tin and cardboard shacks that are home to millions of their citizens sit juxtaposed to the slowly growing middle class homes. I found it to be both scary and scintillating, but my feelings about the people that reside there was not conflicted in any way – I fell in love with their warmth, passion and drive for change.

A true urban adventure, the economic powerhouse of Nigeria was exactly what I needed after months of seven-day workweeks focused on teaching and consulting. Who thinks of “Nigeria” as a getaway for the weary? I certainly didn’t but it turned out to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

I knew I was in for an adventure when I found it impossible to purchase Naira (Nigerian currency) in the U.S. Everybody from my two banks to the currency exchange experts at Travelex informed me that they don’t carry Nigerian money. Most looked at me perplexed that I was going to Nigeria — you would have thought I had told them I was going to the moon. I assumed I’d have an easier time exchanging my money once in Nigeria but discovered that they don’t accept Traveler’s Cheques, my credit cards were considered foreign and therefore unacceptable, and my ATM card was rejected in the hotel’s machines. I eventually found a location that accepted my card at a heavily guarded ATM Gallery.


What did all of this tell me?
Nigeria, beyond its reputation as the hotbed of scammers trying to extort money from innocent email recipients, does not yet have the infrastructure to support tourism – an industry that could help infuse capital and business into their country. But it begs the question: What will it take to overcome their reputation so outsiders will think of it as a country to visit and experience?

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So how did I end up traveling to Nigeria? This has been the most popular question posed to me over the past few weeks. A former graduate student of mine invited me to participate in Nigeria’s Annual Business Competition. She came to Boston University with the goal of learning more about running a national Business Plan Competition for her country, Nigeria. She was working for a US-based organization whose focus is to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills necessary to become socially responsible business leaders.  With skyrocketing unemployment this organization helps students develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills, skills that are not just nice to possess but are clearly necessary for success.

I felt proud to watch her realize her dreams. Students from the 36 states in Nigeria participated in this competition. Each team represented a year of planning along with the execution of their proposed business models. As part the competition, teams were required to prove that they had achieved measurable economic, social and entrepreneurial impact.

Celebration
I had the privilege of not only speaking at this 3-day event but also judging in the semi-finals round. It was quite moving to be in the room of over 1,000 students and experience their energy and enthusiasm as they simultaneously burst into applause and dance when the winning team was announced. This inspiring team had to work through bombings in the northern part of Nigeria that they called home and risked incarceration because they broke curfews mandated by the dangerous conditions in which they lived.

A chaotic city filled with noise, pollution, bumper-to-bumper traffic at all hours of the day and a lack of public utilities resulting in ongoing power outages, Lagos is clearly struggling with the enormous population growth that it’s experiencing. Unemployment is as high as 35% for 20 to 35 year olds. It makes one ponder how they will ever get past this poverty-riddled position to realize the small wins that most Americans take for granted every day.

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Nonetheless, the spirit of entrepreneurship clearly lives in the souls of their youth. You can experience this firsthand in the streets and roadways while traveling in your car or catching a ride on a VW Minibus (their national transportation system). While on the ride, you can purchase practically anything you need before arriving at your destination including plantains, soda, candy and fruit as well as mouse traps, car mats, jewelry, towels, videos and stuffed animals. If you dare to get out of your car you can even pick up a sofa, toilet, bathtub or a couple of dogs (I was tempted but realized it was simply not a good idea).
What are the takeaways for me? Where there’s hope, there is an accompanying entrepreneurial spirit of innovation and change that can transform a person, a business and even a country. This spirit, enabled by amazing women like my student, who have dedicated their lives to change, will be the driving force that empowers developing nations like Nigeria to find their place as a viable economic power. I hope to be a part of that transformation because observing that level of hope and energy is a privilege that every entrepreneur should experience at least once in his or her life. It will change your perspective forever.
 

The Power of Reinventing Yourself

Bob CrowtherThis month I am excited to share the story of a man I met at a training course I ran a few weeks ago. Bob C. (pictured above) is in his early 60’s and he inspired me to think about the power we all have to reinvent and transforms our lives and businesses. If his pictures don’t inspire you to consider how YOU can change your life or business, then I’m confident his story will.

Beth

The Power of Reinventing Yourself
Beth GoldsteinI’ve hear that we have a new layer of skin approximately every 7 years. We know that thisnew layer doesn’t magically appear on your body one day. It happens over time, slowly and without really being noticed. The same can be said about our satisfaction with our careers and businesses.They take on new appearances and transform over time. Sometimes that’s great, especially if you’ve been in control of steering the direction of your business. But have you ever awoken and realized that the new skin your company has assumed just doesn’t fit who you are now?

How many of you are pondering if the business you’re working in or running is the one you want to be enveloped in for the next 5, 10 or 20 years? Have you considered reinventing yourself but are not sure where to begin? While this can be a problem for individuals in every generation, I have definitely noticed a trend amongst Baby Boomers who are looking for their next career or company… perhaps the one they consider to be their last before they retire.  According to the US Department of Labor the number of people 45+ who have been jobless for more than a year has quadrupled since

2007, accounting for nearly half of the 3.5 million Americans out of work for more than a year. Are you or is a friend or loved on in that situation? Regardless of your age or the circumstances surrounding your need to make a change, to reinvent yourself for the 1st, 3rd or perhaps 20th  time, the power is within you but the first step is always the hardest. 
 
Do we have to have a big ‘aha’ moment that propels us into taking the first step or, like the transformation of our skin, does this feeling happen slowly over time? Either way, unlike our skin, change only happens when we make it happen.  

I met Bob Crowther (seen above) at a seminar I was running at the Small Business Development Center at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Before the seminar began, we had the opportunity to chat and he shared his transformational story. Having spent his life in biological research, he found himself, in his early 60’s, unemployed for an extended period of time.  Having dealt with chronic back pain due to lumbar arthritis he had begun to attend hatha yoga classes after several friends had suggested this might help him strengthen his core muscles and alleviate his pain. Bob told me that, “Despite my inexperience and obvious lack of abilities during this initial yoga class, I had fun. I recognized yoga as a means of dealing with decades of back pain as well as a way to recover from major thoracic surgery.”

Bob had tried traditional methods such as physical training sessions and weight lifting but yoga appeared to be the one elixir that truly worked.
Bob Warrior_smAs yoga became a daily ritual, it informed his lifestyle choices and Bob found himself taking four classes a week, becoming leaner, stronger and more flexible. He realized that he wanted to share his remarkable recovery with others to, not only help them but to inspire individuals of all ages that they could master this, just like he did. It was time to reinvent himself and turn his passion into a business. He recently launched Yoga Fitness and Nutrition LLC to address the short and long term goals of Baby Boomers with aches and pains. While his business will be open to individuals of every age, he is focused on people living with the consequences of various medical conditions including a heart attack, diabetes, arthritis and weight issues, offering physical evaluations, one-on-one instruction and nutritional advice. He has found a unique niche and is the poster child for his business.

Bob is in the process of reinventing his career just as he reinvented his body. For me, and perhaps for you as well, he serves as an incredible inspiration of the pure strength not only of body but soul and spirit at any age.  If you want to learn more about Bob, you can connect with him via LinkedIn and watch as he continues his transformation. I certainly will be!

So ask yourself, “Is it time?” Is the old skin feeling itchy? Are you ready to make that change? If you answer “yes” or even “maybe,” here are 5 simple steps you can take to begin your own transformation:

  1. Imagine yourself in 3 years. You’re in a great place in terms of your career and business aspirations. With words (unless you’re artistically gifted) draw a picture of what you’re doing that makes you so happy. Describe your business and your life as if you were telling a friend you hadn’t seen in a few years what your life is like now.
  2. Write down 5 thing that you love about this new life.
  3. Next, write down what is so different about your futuristic life compared to your present one.
  4. Write down what’s stopping you from taking steps to get to this new life – then cross out those negative thoughts.
  5. Finally, write down 3 things you can do in the next 30 daysthat will help you start down the road of achieving your dream job or business.

I’m off to sign up for a yoga class (haven’t done one since college). However, I’d love to hear what your dream is. If you would like to share, send me your 5-step list. Perhaps (with your permission) I will include it in my upcoming book: Reinventing Yourself – Creating the Business You Always Dreamed Of (working title).

 
Video

Say Yes to No

It’s critical to learn to say NO in business. I discuss the importance of doing this with JJ Ramberg on MSNBC’s Your Business.

I’d love to hear your experience saying NO to an opportunity that simply didn’t align with you company’s goals.

 

Empower Growth By Learning to Say NO

I want to share a story about a recent challenge I faced saying ‘no’ to an opportunity that my gut immediately rejected but my heart fought for (and lost). Back in November I was asked to serve as the president of an impressive product marketing organization based here in Massachusetts. I was honored to be asked, especially since the founder is an individual whom I greatly respect. The organization is successful and they are looking to take themselves to the next level. So, I had two key questions to answer: ‘Was I the right person to help them grow?” and “Was this the right organization to help my business grow?” The latter was harder to answer than I anticipated.

Over the past few years I have worked diligently to establish myself as an expert in business growth (building upon my marketing/sales background). While I love ‘all things marketing,’ as a small business trainer I have learned that teaching marketing on its own simply isn’t enough to help business owners achieve the success they desire.Being able to set actionable goals, understand cash flow and manage and motivate your team is just as important as understanding why customers buy from you and why they might also buy from your competitors.  I now integrate all aspects of business strategy, tactics and growth in my workshops to ensure a more significant impact on the small business communities I work with. Returning to a role focused solely on marketing strategy doesn’t align with my business model.  So, this should have been an easy ‘No,’ right? Wrong!

Lucky By Design RoadmapHere’s where my dilemma began. I was personally excited about working with this group because the people in the organization were truly passionate, dynamic and interesting individuals with whom I wanted to collaborate.But, the organization didn’t fit into my wheelhouse, so how could I say ‘yes?’ Good question! I searched for this answer for weeks. I interviewed almost two dozen individuals associated with the organization, looking for a reason to say ‘yes’ but I kept coming back with ‘no.’ Nonetheless, Irefused to listen to my ‘logical’ side screaming that this was not the right role for me.

So, how did I resolve this dilemma? I removed the emotion from the decision. I created a spreadsheet (nothing fancy, trust me) and on the vertical axis (also know as the Y axis for you engineering-types) I plotted all my 2012 projects, training initiatives and other key activities like my book tour, speaking gigs, articles, newsletter and blog. Then on the horizontal (X) axis I plotted my business goals: consulting, training, being a thought leader, helping inner city and small businesses, etc… You get the point. I also included a business goal category called college fund. Why? Because I could do what I love all day long but if I’m not getting paid, my kids will have to rely on the dogs getting great modeling jobs to support their college education (cute as the dogs are, that wasn’t happening any time soon).

Next, I decided that every project listed on the vertical axis had to fit into at least two of these goal categories (three if there was no revenue involved). For example, the training program I run in Salem, MA fit into several categories including: small business, training, coaching and college fund. Other initiatives such as blogging or writing my newsletter didn’t make the college fund but fit into small business, thought leadership and coaching categories. Simple, right?

TrainingYou’d be surprised how cathartic this was. When the chart was completed, I could see in black and white, no emotions involved, everything that I had accomplished in the past year. I could also see how some of the initiatives I had taken on were clearly not smart choices. Honestly, I already knew which initiatives I shouldn’t continue but now I had no reason to argue with myself over continuing them. Here it was, plain and simple, staring back at me from my computer screen – my smart choices and my ‘not so smart’ decisions. The visual impact was quite empowering.

 Ultimately, this chart gave me the power and internal strength to say ‘no’ to the position as president of this organization. The organization just didn’t fit into my current goals. I simply couldn’t justify saying ‘yes,’ hoping that the pleasure of working with the folks in the group would somehow payoff in the long term. It just didn’t make sense but now it was no longer based on a gut feeling or emotion. It was pure logic.

When I called the founder and politely turned down the opportunity, I knew I had made the right decision. Interestingly enough, several new opportunities opened up in the weeks that followed. Ones that I wouldn’t have been able to go after if I had agreed to serve as president of this group and ones that very clearly fit into my wheelhouse. Now I have this amazing chart to refer to each time I have to decide ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

PortfolioIf you are grappling with a logical system to streamline your goals, actions and empower your ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ spend an hour doing this exercise. I guarantee it’ll be the best hour you’ll spend on yourself and your business. When you’re done, email me and let me know what you are doing differently this year as you focus your efforts on growth and please share your stories of how you learned to say ‘Yes’ to ‘No.’ 

 

 

Need a New Elevator Pitch for 2013?

Need a New Elevator Pitch for 2013?

Check out my interview this week with MarketWire on how to create a solid elevator pitch.

 

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Can Dog Breath Teach You About Creating Loyal Customers?

 

Happy Holidays! As 2012 comes to a close, I want to thank you for your support and friendship. Many of you have reached out to share your stories of success and disappointment. I have appreciated your honesty and hearing how you have overcome challenges throughout the year.

Can dog breath teach you about creating loyal customers (and I don’t mean the already-loyal, four-legged kind)? 

To find out, please read the article below.

Is your 2013 growth plan in place? If not, I have a special offer to help you create a plan. As part of my latest book, Lucky By Design, I created a 5-part webinar series where I walk you through the process of creating your Lucky By Design Roadmap (your growth plan).

The Webinar Series is on sale now (through the end of the year) for only $20.13 (that’s a 65% discount). Plus, if you haven’t purchased my book yet (or would like another copy), you can buy it for $10. Interested? Click here for more details!

Wishing you a joyous new year!

Beth

How Dog Breath Taught Me a Valuable Lesson About Creating Loyal Customers

If we’ve spent any time together, you know that I’m an ‘over the top’ dog fanatic. Our home boasts two, four-legged canines (Biscotti and Twizzler), and they delight us on a regular basis. So, you won’t be surprised that as critical members of our household, they are clearly the most spoiled in the family (yes, even more than my 2 teenagers!)

Last month one of my students sent me a link to a video related to dogs. Naturally,  I dropped everything else I was doing and clicked on the link. It featured a clip about Orapup, a tongue brush designed to help dogs (well, actually humans) manage dog bad breath problems. Let’s face it, the dogs don’t care that their breath stinks.

As you might guess, I purchased the Orapup for both of my pups and waited for shipment to arrive this month. Now, the product wasn’t actually ready – they were taking pre-orders. Since I love to support startups and it seemed legitimate, I figured I didn’t have much to lose. It’s not like the dogs would know that their Hanukkah presents arrived late (they are really bad at reading the calendar).

On Dec. 12 I received an email stating:

Beth,

I want to deliver a personal message about your Orapup Preorder Status in the video below.

Sincerely, Dr. Bob

Orapup

It turns out the factory didn’t deliver their mold on time so while Orapup had anticipated a December delivery, it was now going to be January before shipment arrived. Having spent many years working with manufacturers, this is not an uncommon challenge. But how they handled it was less common.

If you watch the video (click here or on the image above) you will see how they use self-effacing humor, provide real information and sincerely apologize for the delay…even offering money back to the >14,000 people who pre-ordered. Their video was short, engaging to watch and very real and honest. What more can you expect from a company? Assuming I like the results of the product (better dog breath), this is a company I am very likely to engage with in the future and recommend to friends/colleagues.  I’ve told you, right?

Let’s face it, mistakes happen, no matter how hard we work to prevent them. However, the true nature of a person and an organization can ALWAYS be measured by HOW they react to the mistake. Remember this the next time an error occurs – on your part or somebody else’s. Think of your reaction as an opportunity to demonstrate the beliefs and principals you adhere to in your company (and life). In addition, you will also learn a lot about a colleague, business or friend relevant to how THEY react to their own mistake. It will help you determine IF this is a person or organization with whom you want to engage in future endeavors.

Charles Darwin said:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

As I await my order of Orapups, I wish you health, peace and happiness plus the ability to respond with dignity when needed. Please continue to stay in touch and share your stories with me. They provide me with great inspiration.  From my home to yours, happy holidays!

Beth, Ben & Jacqui
Beth, Ben, Jacqui, Biscotti & Twizzler

 

 

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