How to Build a Brand That People Don’t Buy, They Join

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 29-03-2014

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I had a lot of fun on this Social Media Week Panel with the very intelligent Susan McPherson, Rowan Gormley from Naked Wines and Maxine Bedat from Zady.

Check it out to see our thoughts on building a movement and driving action online and offline.

In a Jelly World, Your Brand Needs Advocates

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 12-01-2014

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This week Twitter co-founder Biz Stone unwrapped his newest creation, the mobile search engine ‘Jelly‘. At first glance, it’s simple: post a picture and a question, people answer it in the app. However, it highlights a continued trend boosting the importance of building advocates for your brand.

I downloaded the app immediately and started playing with it – mainly because I’m a huge Biz Stone fan after reading Nick Bilton’s exceptional Hatching Twitter. But it was this Thursday while participating in a panel for the Wildlife Conservation Society (with some very, very clever people) that the shift this app represents really came to the fore for me.

We had a discussion about fundraising and the big question about what’s more valuable: chasing a few major donors (who can give millions), or targeting thousands of much smaller donors. Now in that argument, I come down passionately on the side of the little guys. It’s why our focus at charity: water is on building a grassroots movement of inspired people actively giving, fundraising and influencing their peers. We have amazing major donors, but the real power of the movement is delivered by thousands of normal people running their own word-of-mouth marketing campaigns for the water cause.

We don’t want people to give quietly, and we don’t want them to give out of guilt. We want people to become vocal advocates to influence their friends to care.

So during the WCS panel we put forward the thought experiment of who would come to mind if an individual starts looking for an organization that cares for friendly sloths – like this guy:

To do a very quick piece of active research, I posted a pic of the happy sloth above on Jelly directly from my seat on the panel, and asked “What’s a great organization to give to that supports sloths?”

Within a couple of minutes, my mate Frank Danna down in Houston responded, recommending a small organization in Costa Rica named the Sloth Sanctuary.

This was followed up by one suggestion for the WWF from a stranger, but also two more recommendations for the Sloth Sanctuary from my good friend Shawn Cheng and another stranger. And sadly no mentions for the Wildlife Conservation Society (a great organization).

I’d never heard of the Sloth Sanctuary before, but if I was going to give time or money to help out Sloth’s now it’s them I’d support. They’ve built a brand that creates advocates, and like every human I trust my friends recommendations above any other source.

This means that your brand needs advocates. Especially in a Jelly World.

#PANTSFORPAULL – Citi Bike and J Crew: I love you

Posted by admin | Posted in charity: water, Humour, Internet, Life, Marketing | Posted on 09-12-2013

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This Friday I was rushing to work for an early morning meeting, so as per usual I jumped on a Citi Bike from the rank outside my apartment.

It was lightly raining so there were plenty of bikes available, but as I cruised down Avenue B and took a sharp turn onto 3rd street the bike slide out from under me and I took a tumble on the wet ground. What a way to start a Friday.

Now this tweet got a bit of reaction — nothing funnier than a fella falling off his bike on the way to work. My good friend Ryan wanted to make sure I was ok. I was fine. Pants… not so much.

Now at this point in the morning I take my soggy pants and head into 4 straight hours of meetings (working at charity: water in December is intense!).

I emerge from the conference room to find one of our awesome interns at my desk who hands me two small cards and says “um… Citi Bike just delivered this for you???”

And then I spot this tweet:

Sure enough, Citi Bike and the good folk at J Crew delivered a couple of gift vouchers to my office for some brand new pants. And made my day.

I love this so much. I’m already a huge fan of Citi Bike, and now I’m a new J Crew customer. Marketing is all about relationships, and every relationship needs to have mutual benefit.

Citi Bike and J Crew, I love you — and people love brands being human:

 

While some others just like making fun of their mates:

 

Chase Community Giving Interview: Building a Movement Online

Posted by admin | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 09-08-2013

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I sat down with the Chase Community Giving team after a panel at the DoGoodBetter conference in NYC last week to chat about building online movements.

Please excuse the apparent spray tan, blue pants, cowboy boots and calculator watch.

 

Hubspot Biz Talk: charity: water’s digital and marketing strategy

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in charity: water, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 31-03-2013

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If you’re interested in charity: water’s digital and marketing strategy — this video is for you!

 

The good folk at Hubspot recently hosted my team and I at their Boston HQ and invited me to deliver a Biz Talk for their staff. I lead with info on the water issue and the story of charity: water, before diving into our marketing strategy and some learnings.

Enjoy!

Mashable Social Good Summit Panel: Crowd Powered Philanthropy

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 27-09-2012

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This week I represented charity: water on a panel at the Mashable Social Good Summit alongside Meetup founder Scott Heiferman, Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann and Mashable’s Matt Silverman.

Here is the full 15 minute panel:

In particular awesome to sit next to Scott Heiferman, one of the smartest internet entrepreneurs out there and one of the only people in the world who has built a web platform to unite people in the real world.

AMEX bought me a steak, Visa made me walk around an airport

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Current Affairs, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 09-08-2012

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I had a striking experience this week seeing old and new marketing clash head on in a battle between two of the world’s largest companies: Visa and American Express.

Sunday

I’m at Heathrow Airport waiting for my flight back to the States after watching my mate Ben St Lawrence run for Australia in the 10,000 meters final at the Olympics. With some time to kill before my flight, I decide to buy a Tshirt from the Olympic store to mark the occasion. I line up for 15 minutes, get to the counter… and can’t pay. The Olympics only accept Visa.

I only have a few coins left in my wallet, so have to trudge around the airport, pull out 20 quid from an ATM (with a foreign penalty) and go back to the Olympic store to buy my shirt. I curse Visa under my breath the entire flight home.

Monday

Every Monday a few of my mates get together for a steak night. I check in on Foursquare, as is my habit. Immediately I’m notified that American Express has a $5 off deal in the restaurant, because I’ve signed up for Amex Sync.

I tell all my friends about the deal, they check in and get a discount too. We all pull out our American Express cards instead of cash to pay the bill. American Express save us $20, and we have a positive conversation about their brand as we walk home.

I tweet about the #steakscore, and when I wake up I see a tweet @ me from Amex:

American Express bought me a steak and made me smile. Visa made me walk around an airport and frown.

This post says it best:

If you want people to like you, give them something. If you want people to hate you, take something away from them. 

 

Video chat with Philanthropy News

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 07-08-2012

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The good folk at Philanthropy News recently grabbed me for a quick flip-cam video interview for some insight on how we approach online community and fundraising at charity: water.

Short 8 minute video here:

 

PR News Presentation on Social Media Measurement

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 25-06-2012

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I had a great time today speaking on a panel at the PR News Social Media Summit in NYC on the topic of measurement.

Here’s my presentation and a clip of me discussing it:

 

Video:

The 3 conversations I’ll be having at SXSW

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Marketing | Posted on 07-03-2012

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I’m heading to Austin, Texas, this weekend for my third consecutive SXSW. It’s a huge few days, and while tiring, an event I always look forward to for a chance to connect with many friends and build new relationships.

If you’ll be there please leave a comment or tweet me; if you’re reading this I’d love to see you.

Without further ado, here are the three main conversations I’ll be having in Texas:

1. What are you up to that’s cool?

You’ll never find as many smart digital people in one place as these few days in Austin. I’m looking forward to learning new things and getting inspired by other peoples work.

Big new ideas often pop at SXSW: Twitter got a huge boost there early on, Foursquare launched there, and this year I’m tipping Highlight will get people chatting – it’s the most interesting app I’ve found for some time.

2. charity: water is hiring – know anyone?

charity: water is hiring across the board this year and we need great people to help us change the world. We’re looking for a range of tech people, project managers, fundraisers and more.

In particular, I’m personally hiring two roles and it’s likely the right people for them will be at SXSW:

  • Director of Corporate Partnerships: an authentic, strategic, digitally-savvy biz dev person who can raise $5 million from corporates this year while building a plan to do $30 million in 2015.
  • Marketing Analyst: a data person who will be responsible for building a personal automated email program for us and will work on defining and measuring our marketing efforts.

3. Can you or your brand help charity: water this year?

We’re aiming to raise $25 million this year, 100% will directly fund clean water projects. We’ve got a bunch of exciting campaigns launching throughout the year and many ways individuals or brands can get involved. I’ll be looking to recruit more great partners to help them make our story their story and bring the water crisis to more people.

In particular, I’ll be trying to marshall support for a huge online campaign we’re launching for World Water Day on March 22. If you’re interested in learning more about it – ping me!

Will you be at SXSW? If so I’d love to see you!

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