Reason 3: Kmart or Wal-Mart Trajectory?
Here is a snippet from his blog post:
I was 23 and living large in my second year of a dream job – Assistant to the Chairman/CEO of Slim-Fast Foods. Slim-Fast was one of the hottest brands in the country. The VP Sales, CEO and I were headed out to see Kmart, Wal-Mart and a few other biggies. We were announcing a new advertising blitz and rolling out a significant line extension for Ultra Slim-Fast. First stop: Troy, Michigan—Kmart headquarters. We met with a few buyers and merchandise managers . . . older guys wearing thick polyester pants and short-sleeve dress shirts. They sat with arms crossed and I remember hearing, "We’re not sure, think we’ll take a wait-and-see approach. We’re uneasy about committing the space.” On the limo ride back to airport, Danny the CEO shook his head and said, “These guys are dead, and they don’t even know it.”
Just moments later we were wheels up headed for Bentonville, Arkansas. As always, Wal-Mart’s lobby was packed with anxious visitors, you could feel the electricity in the air. We were escorted to the obligatory tiny meeting room and crammed around the table with the young, sharp buyer and his boss. The contrast in tone and energy to the culture at Kmart was huge and in many ways prophetic. “How can we buy smarter? What if we only had you ship full truckloads? When is your local rep going to dial in to our online system and help optimize the inventory mix? About these line extensions . . . we want to be first to market, when can we get these in the stores? What can you do for us if we commit to the end-cap next month?”
But what does this have to do with you? ... It has EVERYTHING to do with you. We all know the trajectory of Kmart and Wal-Mart from 1991, when 23 year old Mike was living the dream, through today.
Did you just make the painful realization that you and your nonprofit have become Kmart, living in the past, not embracing new, thinking you will continue to succeed the way you always have? While ebooks are not the ultimate solution, it is clear that fundraising professionals have to look at the future and evolve marketing efforts to match the changing environment.