It’s hard to believe that Jefferson just graduated from Thomas Downey High. I have so many memories of this little boy, including the marketing brilliance he demonstrated when he was in first grade. Allow me to reflect back on a newspaper column I wrote when he was in elementary school:
“Let me tell you a little about young Jefferson, and I say all of this with great fondness. First of all, he’s what you’d describe as “a pistol.” You never know what is going to come out of his mouth next. He’s a bundle of joyful energy—he just flat wears me out. He also is a bear hugger—so strong that your face turns blue in the process!
That’s Jefferson. Oh, and one more thing…he’s 6 years old!
So how is it that 6-year-old Jefferson is about to be named principal of his school? It’s because he has a team of friends and family supporting the cause. His school hosts an annual jog-a-thon and the student who raises the most money becomes principal for a day.
So, Jefferson has been on the phone this week, dialing for dollars. He called Grandpa about a pledge first—grandpa is a softy. He went right to the heart of it all. “Grandpa, I need money!” Of course Grandpa had been forewarned that the call was coming, but he acted surprised. “Money? For what?”
Jefferson was direct. “I need money to be principal.” So Grandpa proudly announced that he’d pledge $100. A hundred smackers!
The best part of Grandpa’s pledge is that Jefferson has no concept of money, but had been coached to ask everyone for $10. So Jefferson was even more direct, “No, not $100—$10!” Everyone behind the scenes was giggling by now. It took Grandpa some doing to move Jefferson to the point that $100 was better than $10.
Next call…Aunt Katie. “Aunt Katie, I need money to be principal.” Has anyone remembered there’s a jog-a-thon involved here? Aunt Katie responded. “Well Jefferson, I want to help you and so I’ll pledge $10.”
Jefferson had learned a lot by the time he surpassed Grandpa and replied, “No, $100!”
The bottom line is this…Jefferson will probably become principal. How can I be so confident? Well, after Jefferson makes his way through dozens of prospects and his jog-a-thon card is sub-totaled, he’ll call Aunt Pennie. We’ll calculate how much he’s short to match what dollar amount his two sisters raised in first grade that was high enough to earn that principal spot.
Why do we care so much about Jefferson becoming principal? It’s the principle of it all.
We want little Jefferson to learn at a very young age if you have the support of family and friends, combined with hard work and commitment, you’ll reap rewards in life.”
What marketing tips can we learn from little Jefferson? The first tip is that you need to have a relationship with your consumers—loyalty pays off. Jefferson’s relationship with us paid great dividends–$100 pledges instead of $10. Another tip is that you need to set business goals. What goals have you established? Jefferson’s goal was to become principal for the day.
I’m here to help you build consumer loyalty and achieve your business goals by employing the right marketing strategies, initiatives and tactics for success. By the way, shortly after I wrote that newspaper column about Jefferson, he achieved his goal and was principal for the day at Rose Avenue School.