I want to warn you about a trend that we see so many nonprofit brands fall into: once they reach a certain height/growth record/become #1 in their field… they stop investing in their communication and advertising to their audience because they are either too successful or they are just ignorant about their reality. Regardless of the reason, resting on your laurels can lead you to bankruptcy. Let me explain.
A while ago, a client of ours – after they were near bankruptcy – became the number one in their field again after they hired us to create advertising campaigns for them over a few years. Then, after they reached their zenith, outpacing any numbers in their previous long history… they stopped being diligent in continuing to advertise and defend their #1 leadership.
The following year, their competitor hired us, investing in a strategic film campaign, and now that client has become the #1 leader in their market within a year. The issue we see over and over is that as soon as a brand gains strength and confidence, they think they don’t need to advertise anymore, and they try to find ways to shave off advertising expenses from their balance sheets because they think they will maintain that height. We’ve seen this cycle over and over again. If you’re not pushing forward, you’re falling backward.
Not so with Shulamith High School for Girls. After their record growth of 265% last year, they didn’t stop there. They continued to want to make a statement, and even further – to reach the market leadership trophy. You can read about how we helped them in previous years here: http://shmuelhoffmansblog.com/2015/11/12/nonprofits-do-marketing-all-wrong/.
This year is Shulamith commissioned us again for the third year in a row to produce a series of films including a brand new promo plus 3 new commercial films. I want to commend Rina Zerykier not only for creating and executing a tremendous new school that breaks the molds while still upholding the Torah – she is smart and keeps up the marketing. She is ambitious and will grow the school into a tremendous mainstay that continues to innovate and inspire.
So we started this year with a film featuring what’s new at Shulamith: the Summer Scholars program.
This film gets across the point that is one of the mainstays of the Shulamith philosophy: that learning happens beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Because learning is not just for a test. It is the attitude, the aptitude of learning, and of wanting to learn – that they teach.
Then Shulamith built the most stunning open house experience where the promotional film worked as its center piece.
The next phase was to put together an application deadline film that would increase applications from the people that came to the open house.
Right now they are swimming in applications – and we are only halfway through recruitment cycle. Suffice it to say that this campaign has already paid off.
So, the moral of the story is: Don’t wait with your marketing till your brand is going down again. You need to continuously advertise to your crowd to maintain your position as the market leader. Your competitors will rest on their laurels and you should bank on that.
Once you are up, keep up doing what brought you there in the first place. Don’t stop.