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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  September 10, 2013

Change Your Contribution

I’ve told clients for years that contests are a great way to get media attention and to engage their communities.  This Fast Company article on the Knight Foundation’s use of contests shows this tactic’s power in rebranding and reviving a great cause.

Look past the details around the effort.  Check out how this stodgy organization increased their influence by making this big change.  The takeaway:  when you change your contribution in the bigger cause, you change your role in the conversation.  You dominate your space with the new innovation.  You become the first mover again.

Best next step:  ask yourself, am I making the same contribution to the same people as I was five years ago?  If so, step back.  Think about where your clients are headed.  And then use something like a challenge or contest to meet that future.  Click here for an interesting case study on how president Alberto Ibarguen did it.


Comments:

  • Author : David Zahn

    Published: 2013-09-10 11:28:57

    I am in favor of contests where the company chooses to "match" monies raised from customers or in some way creates a community effort. I am not a fan of "lottery" type contests where there is a competition and only one winner. Why should a single customer be singled out and judged "more worthy" than another in a contest format? It serves to annoy those that did not win. It is a commonly used tactic - but has always struck me as off-putting to those that do not gain the prize. In the place of that approach - I would rather provide some reward for every customer who achieves the goal (small rewards are fine and if customers are encouraged to cooperate or help each other, even better than pitting them against each other).

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.