As a not-for-profit organization supporting Albertans with disabilities, 88.7 cents of every dollar spent in Goodwill goes back into their programs.
Though it is a thrift store operating in the second-hand and donated products space, it does commendable work in the community by giving work opportunities to Albertans with disabilities. It is respected by those who know its mandate, yet there was an opportunity to increase awareness of the brand and to differentiate from its competitors in order to drive donations and retail opportunities.
Goodwill looked to zag to communicate its organizational impact better while increasing its market share and strengthening the brand. A major issue it faced was the negative perception of thrift stores as compared to other retailers. The research indicated that some saw thrift stores as dirty, grungy or less-than. While Goodwill remained a hotspot for thrifty fashionistas to find rare vintage gems and donated high-fashion items, the general public didn’t share this perception. Research also showed that most people supported Goodwill’s broader mandate.
This struggle against negative perceptions of the brand’s model, compounded with a need for differentiation between Goodwill and its competitors (other thrift stores operating in the same charitable space), required an approach that would set Goodwill apart, raise awareness and elevate the brand — all while communicating its mandate. In addition to the campaign, Goodwill also enlisted zag’s support to develop materials for use in their Impact Centre and with key stakeholders to educate their markets on the initiatives that Goodwill has undertaken to support its community.
To best serve the needs of the client, zag developed a campaign strategy promoting the idea of thrifters finding unique items and fashionable finds within the store out to its broader audience. Campaign development included an array of out of home materials, including billboards, transit posters and video advertisements featuring fashionable people of various ages styled in on-trend clothing options. Inspired by fashion editorial photography, high-fashion imagery was used to take away from perceptions of Goodwill as a low-quality destination. This bold creative served to challenge people’s perceptions of Goodwill. zag also created educational print material surrounding the organization’s Career Connections program and the recycling program at the Impact Centre to raise awareness of how Goodwill is supporting its community.
The creative approach stated a clear call to action (i.e., Good looks. For good. You shop, Albertans with disabilities work) that connected back to Goodwill’s core mission while the tags alluded to the fashionable aspect of shopping at Goodwill. Video assets included models in glamorous locations, while the overlaying copy introduced (or reintroduced) articles of clothing featured, such as “grandma’s old scarf.”
We were excited to take the creative further by placing video ads in Cineplex theatres, running alongside one of the year's top-grossing films, which reached over 30,000 Albertans who may not have been targeted previously.
Goodwill saw markedly high results in 2019. Following this campaign, Goodwill’s website saw a 13% increase in visitors from the previous year and increases in followers on all social media platforms (40% increase on Instagram, 20% increase on Facebook, 10% on Twitter and 87% on LinkedIn).
The strategy was found to be so successful that through 2019, the strategy of using fashion and messaging together was utilized in building out other mini campaigns throughout the year. By the end of 2019, Goodwill realized an increase of 50% year-over-year donations and a 2019 sales increase of 11%.