WASHINGTON, October 9, 2012 — Recent history has seen a flood of cause-related marketing and brands. TOMS Shoes and Newman’s Own are great examples and successful because they share common attributes. To be successful in caused-related marketing you need to have three things; a great product, an authentic message and a created value for the consumer.
ONEHOPE Wine has these attributes. Their message is simple. Buy their wine and 50% of the profits go to the partnered cause on the bottle. Only five years old, ONEHOPE is easy to understand, partners with large causes and has excellent packaging. They are applying a proven concept and high-level branding to an industry, wine, where it is not easy to succeed and especially succeed early. Large partnerships, succeeding in a difficuly industry make CEO Jake Kloberdanz a man to know and learn from.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. ONEHOPE is launching a campaign designed to support education and early detection. Below, I asked him about the campaign, the genesis of the brand, where it’s going and his advice for aspiring entreprenuers.
What was the inspiration behind ONEHOPE, how did it start?
Eight founders, including myself, came together in 2007 to create our cornerstone product, ONEHOPE Wine. Our goal was to create a quality wine that gives back to worthy causes year round. Our motivation started out as a personal mission to help out a dear friend with her fight against cancer into a thriving business founded on a very basic, but compelling principle: giving back is good business.
Long nights, countless meetings in living rooms, and distributing cases of wine out of the trunks of our cars became the standard operating procedure for us in the beginning. Eventually, our hard work and dedication led to 8,000 cases being sold in ten states within the first year. This was an exciting year for us. We knew ONEHOPE Wine was on its way to becoming a national brand and it was clear that this type of ‘giving back’ would be a strong vehicle for a lifestyle of hope and change.
What is next for ONEHOPE? Any new products?
Most recently, we just launched our new California Sparkling Brut to our list of wines available.
For this wine, we partnered with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign in an effort to help make sure every child in America gets the food they need. Half of the profits of each bottle of Sparkling are donated to this organization, which means every bottle purchased of ONEHOPE’s Sparkling Wine will help connect a child in need with 10 meals. It is important for us to make a big impact and this fact illustrates how even a small amount of money is impactful and can go a long way for these children.
Since launching into the wine industry 5 years ago, we have developed additional products, brands and platforms including - Hope at Home™, ONEHOPE Weddings, the ONEHOPE Foundation, Craft1933, and our newest addition - ONEHOPE Coffee and Tea. We are taking our “cause platform” into these additional spaces including the at-home wine market with Hope at Home, a subsidiary that is taking the Tupperware party model into the wine industry; the wedding market with ONEHOPE Weddings, where over 5,000 brides have signed up to use us as the wine of choice at their wedding and lastly, into the direct-to-consumer wine market with Craft1933, which is taking what we are currently doing with a bottle of wine and providing a platform for hundreds of other wineries throughout Napa, Sonoma, the west coast, and internationally to market their wines to socially conscious wine lovers while helping raise money for their cause of choice.
In addition to the platforms I mentioned, we have also been lucky enough to take the lessons we’ve learned from starting our own business of integrating cause into our culture, brand, and company goals and using them to empower other companies. Today, we not only have our own cause-centric products and services but we are also the creator and leading provider of consulting services for companies small to large on Cause-Centric Commerce, which refers to building a cause into a business model and root culture.
Tell me about the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign ONEHOPE has launched.
Statistics have shown that women in the U.S. have a 1 in 8 lifetime chance of developing breast cancer; ONEHOPE’s “1 in 8” campaign was designed to support breast cancer education and early detection, and have a true impact by donating one mammogram for every eight cases of chardonnay sold. Our “1 in 8” Campaign donates half of the profits generated from the sale of every bottle of our 2010 California Chardonnay towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit focused on education, early detection and providing free mammograms to women in need. This year our goal is to raise $100,000 for this campaign and increase awareness towards breast cancer prevention.
What would be your advice in starting a cause-centric business and what are your future goals?
My advice would be to make sure your message and brand is authentic and the product or service is quality and value driven. Without both of these, the business will not be sustainable and will have a low probability of gaining traction. Building cause into the business will make it something that the company discusses on a regular basis and sets goals around.
From our individual business standpoint we donate half of our profits for each wine we sell to different non-profits that have a clear and transparent “dollar-to-impact” ratio. We need all businesses to build a higher purpose into their business model so the most effective organizations in the world can impact humanity in a transparent and major way. I would like to continue to grow ONEHOPE’s various for-profit entities as well as the foundation for many years to come. The next milestone I would like us to hit as a business is to donate over $1M and using it to do much more than $1M worth of impact.
What is the most important trait(s) to have as an entrepreneur?
Heart, smarts, guts and luck. Many will argue that one is more important than the other. In my opinion all of them are important during different times in the process of building a business. Guts are important to take a shot. Heart is important to keep going when times get rough. Smarts will allow you to scale a startup to a large business. Luck is what all of us here in America have - we have the opportunity of free enterprise. And if you have a great support system of family, friends and teammates then you’re even luckier than most.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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