by John Brubaker, Author and Performance Consultant
Special Prize Inside
A week ago my family had a reunion in New Jersey and it brought back some great memories. My cousin Erik is a year younger than me and as kids growing up I always enjoyed visiting him. Besides the fact that we had the same interests, it was fun because his parents had sugared cereal in their house. Boxes of sugared cereal always seemed to have the best prizes inside. (My parents outlawed junk cereal in our house like it was some kind of narcotic, opting instead for Cheerios, Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran.)
You’re probably wondering, What does sugared cereal have to do with athletic recruiting? Everything!
Your athletic program really isn’t all that different than a box of cereal up on the shelf in the grocery store. There are lots of “boxes” just like yours though the size and shape may vary slightly. How do you position your program as a must have that makes prospects hungry to pick you up and put you in their cart so to speak?
Does your brand offer a “special prize” to attract prospects and retain customers?
The special prize concept made certain cereal brands memorable, so much that I still remember getting a Mickey Mouse spoon from Cheerios, baseball cards and matchbox cars from Corn Flakes. I bet you still remember your favorite too, don’t you? I drove my parents nuts by “going straight for the kill” opening the cereal box from the bottom to get right to the prize at the bottom of the packaging.
Does the product, service and experience your brand offers elicit that same straight for the kill reaction from your prospects? Is it equally memorable? If not, you need to create a “special prize” (within NCAA regulations).
Think about why kids love McDonald’s happy meals so much, there is a toy prize inside. Did you know happy meals account for 10% of McDonald’s revenue ($3 billion) and are served in 30,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. While it wasn’t their goal, it made McDonalds the largest toy distributor in the world, simply because of a special prize inside.
We’ve all still got a child inside of us and you can engineer the same “special prize experience” for your prospects and their parents. The special prize concept creates an emotional connection between you and your prospect and builds intense brand loyalty. When we offer special prizes or deals to people we need to make sure they exceed expectations. (Remember the disappointment the first time you opened a box of Cracker Jacks and it just contained a sticker instead of a real toy.) To elevate and separate yourself from the competition, over deliver value in a memorable way. This is one of the reasons people stay connected with an organization or brand. People love special surprises (good ones at least) it’s not only what customers and prospects want; it’s what they’ve come to expect.
Why is this special prize concept so powerful? Because we make buying decisions based on feelings and then try to justify the decision logically after the fact. Too many recruiters make the mistake of over promising and under delivering. If you are one of the few who never disappoint because you surprise, delight and over deliver value to others, you’ll be remarkable. Your program will become the kind of product and experience your prospects just can’t get enough of and you will become the person they want to hear more from.
Do you remember making your parents buy you a certain box of cereal because you desperately wanted the prize inside? What was the cereal and what was the prize? What is your special prize you can offer?
Keep your eye on the prize this week!
Coaching Point: How to build your special prize-It should answer one or more of these four questions…
- Does your prize solve a problem?
- Is it game changing? (or maybe even life changing)
- Does it add value to others?
- Does it elevate and separate you from the competition?
About the author: John Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and award-winning author. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brubaker helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge. Brubaker is the author of two books: The Coach Approach: Success Strategies From The Locker Room To The Board Room and his latest book Seeds of Success. He also co-authored Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed with Senator George Mitchell, Dr. Warren Benis and several other experts. John is also the host of Maximum Success: The Coach Bru Show on NBC Sports Radio Boston. He is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and he also earned a master’s degree in personnel psychology from FDU. Brubaker has completed his doctoral coursework in Sport Psychology at Temple University. www.coachbru.com
Click Here For More Information on Coach Bru’s Newest Book: Seeds of Success