For Unknown Reasons, Company Still Failing to Reach Out to GIjOE Fans and Collectors An online fundraising effort conducted by the GIjOE Coffee Company (GCC) fell predominantly onto deaf ears recently, largely due to the fact that the fledgling business completely misjudged its target market and demonstrated a stunning lack of common-sense during the campaign’s execution. In fact, the campaign was so poorly handled (see HERE) that the company’s goal of $100,000 fell embarrassingly short—with only $610 pledged!
We’re not sure who advised the GCC on this particular promotion/fundraising boondoggle, but we do think they should seek out more experienced PR counsel before attempting such an event again. The negative publicity and potential public backlash created from such mishandled promotions is too great to risk happening again. Let’s examine specifically what went wrong, beginning with… Ignoring Built-In Supporters Makes No “Cents” For reasons known only to the GCC, the company continues to fail to reach out to the vast, worldwide fan-base and community of GIjOE, Action Man, and Geyperman collectors. Hello? We’re right HERE! And there are literally thousands of GIjOE-related websites, fan forums and blogs that the GCC should be communicating with on a daily basis, leaving posts, placing ads, etc.
Question: Can anyone explain why a company with “GIjOE” in its name would ignore such an obvious and automatic base of supporters? Any marketing or public-relations person worth his or her salt should be advising the GCC to “zero-in” on GIjOE fans and collectors. Company reps should be attending ALL of the GIjOE shows, giving out free samples, and raising awareness of their products and charitable goals. Why the GCC continues to ignore “Joeheads” remains (for them) a nonsensical and unprofitable mystery. Someone stop the Madness!
Straying From Your “Core Message” Is Risky This is all very basic, “Public Relations 101” sort of stuff, but we’ll quickly recap it for those of you who are outside of the field. It’s very simple. Stay focused on achieving your stated goals and objectives. Target your market carefully. Switching marketing strategies in mid-stream serves only to muddle a company’s message and confuse its customers. The GIjOE Coffee Company made exactly those mistakes and blurred their message from one of compassion and support for disabled veterans, to promises of sexy girly posters and 4-day vacations. Such prurient tactics may work when trying to get 18-24 year-old males to buy a new brand of beer or an “irresistible” body spray, but a business hoping to support disabled veterans requires a more tactful approach; one that demonstrates a genuine desire to “give something back” out of respect and gratitude.
Bottom Line: We love vacations and pretty girls as much as anyone (maybe more so!), but hopefully, the GIjOE Coffee Company has learned some important lessons from their recent fundraising flop. In our opinion, the best way to gain customers, supporters and contributors for their new coffee business, is not by targeting the libidos of young men, but by appealing to the hearts and minds of GIjOE fans, military families, and American citizens everywhere. Go, GCC!