The Agassi Foundation: Expanding a Brand Focus

In “Lessons from The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation,” I introduced the work we’re doing at the Email Experience Council (eec) with the foundation. As a quick recap, the eec has organized a team of 25 volunteers from various walks of the e-mail world to donate time and resources to assist The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation (AACF) in growing its organization.

We’ve focused on three areas: optimization of messages, awareness of the foundation, and donation growth. The learning that our collective team gathers (both good and bad) will be shared with you each month. Today, I’ll examine our front line learning about brand expansion.

The AACF is known for the phenomenal work it does in Nevada, which Andre Agassi lives. The AACF even started a school back in 2001, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, for underserved children in Las Vegas.

Earlier this year, the AACF went through a strategic planning effort that uncovered a new mission. Now the foundation is working to leverage the knowledge and successes in Nevada to improve national public education.

To that end, the foundation is dedicated to transforming U.S. public education for underserved youth. The foundation also pledged to drive reform by engaging in practice, policy, and partnerships that provide quality education and enrichment opportunities.

When the eec team learned about this new mission, we were very excited. The AACF has a phenomenal goal. Now, it was our turn to figure out how e-mail could help support this effort.

During a few strategy calls we documented some key learnings to keep in mind when designing communications that will create a change to a brand strategy. These are: message, message, and remessage.

“Many companies are so close to their own brand, that when they expand or change it and message about it, they forget that many people don’t even know what it is they do in the first place,” said one of the eec eality project members. This was a pretty powerful statement because it is true. If you plan to send an e-mail about something new your company is doing, you’ll probably need to send a series of e-mails to get your message across.

The first e-mail should be used to reinforce the perceived value your company offers. The second e-mail should introduce the changes you’re making, along with the justification for the changes (better access, better pricing etc.). And, the third e-mail should be a repeat of the second e-mail to ensure people get the message and have time to think about and digest it.

Another great quote from our strategy sessions was: “To influence a market, people need to own a piece of the success.” This was an insightful statement that made us consider concluding our series of planned e-mails with a call for donation. With regular communications and clear content to educate potential donors and partners about the AACF’s successes, the foundation can then go back to prospective donors and partners to communicate the new mission and how they can be a part of helping make it successful.

The strategy design team for the e-mail campaign walked away with a broadened awareness of the impact e-mail can have if it’s done correctly. The AACF e-mails will launch in a few weeks. Keep reading this column to follow our efforts and find out if our three-touch e-mail plan will work.

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