May 29, 2024

I love that line in Jerry McGuire where Ray randomly states,Did you know that the human head weighs 8 pounds?  Well, I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know about 3½ pounds of that weight would consist of your brain. At least that’s what I learned while watching Brain Games on NatGeo.

"did you know the human head weighs 8 pounds?" Jerry Maguire ...

I love learning how the brain works. In fact, many moons ago I used to teach other teachers about brain-based learning. It’s fascinating. Isn’t it intriguing that we all know there’s a thin strip of paper hanging out of the top of a Hershey Kiss yet many don’t know it’s called a plume? It was originally used to identify Hershey chocolate from their competitors, now it’s known as the quickest way to get to that Kiss. One quick pull of the plume with your index finger and thumb and you’ll be seconds away from some chocolatey self-care. 

HERSHEY'S KISSES Chocolates | History and FAQs

Some things we don’t think about…they just are. I mean Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have been around for 96 years and they’ve never bothered to figure out how to get that little smudge of “Reese’s Residue” off the middle of the wrapper? That’s what I call it at least. When I asked some friends what it was called, they all knew exactly what smudge I was talking about, but made up their own names like, ‘Proof that God Loves Us’, ‘Finger Licking Good’, and my favorite from my friend Eric, ‘Reesidue’.  

I’m not trying to pick on the Hershey Company here; really, I’m not. I think they're brilliant! You’re just witnessing a sliver of my 8-pound head in action. There’s no doubt my brain is looking at quirky in the rearview mirror. But if you’re a blog follower, you already know that. You also know that Kisses wouldn’t be the same without the plume. And don’t even consider divorcing the peanut butter from the chocolate. Think about the children! There truly is something to be said for putting classic combinations together. Lucy and Ethel. Pepperoni and cheese. Socks and sandals…okay maybe not socks and sandals! But truly one of the best combinations to date would have to be marketing and planning ahead. I mean check out this Hershey Bar celebrate women for Women's History Month! Pure genius or just some advanced planning? Or maybe advanced planning is pure genius.

Hershey’s ‘SHE’ chocolate bars return with new packaging to celebrate ...

Back to Reese's! As I was galivanting down Reesidue Lane recently, I happened upon an ad depicting one of my favorite candy treats in the shape of a gold medal! Literally, it’s so cute! The 2024 Summer Olympics don’t even kick off until July, but the Hershey company is already on it. Why? Because they plan ahead. Great marketers always do! It’s no surprise to any of us when the Olympics happen. A tiny bit of foresight and your message can complement what everyone in the world will be talking about. That’s some marketing momentum that I’d like to be a part of. How about you?

If you’re one of those marketers who is trying to figure out what you should send your donors this week or next, you’ve missed so many opportunities. It’s nearly impossible to whip out clever, customizable ideas for your donors that have your unique touch to it at the eleventh hour. Hershey's can't do it even with their massive budget and neither can you. 

So, stop racking your brain for an idea and let the calendar help you. Some nonprofits took advantage of the eclipse earlier this year. Others leverage Valentine’s Day to express donor love or Random Acts of Kindness Day to promote a spirit of generosity. Planning ahead is what gives us a Reese’s Cup in a whole new shape—and I cannot wait to see what this specific chocolate to peanut butter ratio tastes like. I mean the shaped Reese’s are always far superior to the regular cups! And I’m here for it. I’ll not only be buying some for myself, but I’ll be sharing some of these chocolate gold medals with my friends and family, too. It’s like I’ve signed up as their secondary marketing department—me telling all my friends about these new chocolate Reese’s medals will likely sell more. That’s how it works. 

peanut butter

Let this be your sign…if you don’t have a marketing plan you need one. You don’t go into a new fiscal year without a budget. Your marketing plan is equally vital and can be crafted for an entire year. But let’s say, since it’s already May, that you don’t have a plan…yet. No worries, create one for the second half of the year. There is plenty of time to plan your work and work your plan. 

There are simply big life events that happen for all of us, things that everyone pays attention to, things that you should also pay attention to. It’s hard to create a donor marketing piece and act like it’s not July 4th, for example. Go where there is momentum. Use the calendar to allow your donor communications meet the donors where they are. This means to communicate with them in a way that makes sense for them but also at a time that makes sense to them.

Doctor Who Television GIF by BBC America

Yeah, in case you didn’t know, the 2024 Summer Olympics are starting on July 26th. This just might be the time to plan something around that topic. Maybe it’s a campaign for gold, silver, and bronze medal givers or sharing a heartwarming story of a community donating to send an Olympian to Paris this year and comparing that to how collective giving changes lives. I’m sure there are a million ideas out there…if you plan ahead. Sometimes we need to look at what big companies like Hershey are doing. We don’t have their Research and Development dollars, but we can learn from their actions. And what I know for sure is that more often than not you need to be outstanding to stand out. Planning helps if you know what kind of message you want to leave a marketing Reesidue. 

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,

[email protected]
dawn brown creative, llc. 

P.S. Fundraising is hard, even though you make it look
oh-so easy! ♥

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