Bringing Purpose to Life through Storytelling John Roulac, CEO and Founder of Nutiva
Purpose At Work: How Love Your Melon Mobilizes its Community to Build Awareness and Scale its Impact
September 13, 2019
Love Your Melon, an apparel brand that donates half of its net profits to charities fighting pediatric cancer, exemplifies a p[urpose-driven brand. The company, which expects almost $40 million in revenue this year, has proven that this model can be profitable in addition to making a huge, lasting impact on peoples’ lives.
Love Your Melon was launched with true integrity in 2012 when college sophomores Zachary Quinn and Brian Keller met in an entrepreneurship class. The co-founders conceived of giving a hat to every child battling cancer for every hat sold. Today, that purpose has grown into a powerful force in the fight against pediatric cancer with over $7 million donated to charity and 160,000 beanies given to children fighting cancer.
What can we learn from Love Your Melon’s incredible business and impact?
Align your business with your purpose.
While the brand also sells caps, headbands, sweatshirts, socks, blankets, accessories and other apparel, Love Your Melon’s primary products are plain, cuffed and pom beanies -- which are frequently needed at pediatric cancer centers everywhere. In this way, Love Your Melon elevates the beanie into an empowering, powerful tool in the fight against cancer for anyone who wears it. That’s why Love Your Melon calls those fighting cancer ‘Superheroes’. Together, Love Your Melon, consumers, Superheroes and those that care for them are wearers forming an impactul community.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to solve a global problem, think of how a business could drive impact through tangible needs. For existing businesses, think of a cause that is relevant to your brand and where you can make a truly meaningful difference.
Expand the scope of your impact..
As Love Your Melon states on its website, they “strive to connect” with every child diagnosed with cancer in order to make a difference in their lives. To that end, Love Your Melon does not stop at its purposeful products and giveback. For example, the company also plans Therapeutic Adventures tailored to a child’s favorite things. These memorable experiences provide Superheroes with much-needed positivity that helps with recovery and improves chances of survival.
Think about creative ways your brand can activate its purpose apart from donation and product giveaways to expand the difference you make to others’ lives.
Mobilize your brand community.
Love Your Melon recognizes that it can’t do this work alone. Those who engage with the brand automatically become champions of the same goal and the brand works to give them an opportunity to personally contribute to its cause. For example, Love Your Melon’s Campus Crew Program empowers 13,500 students from 840 different colleges to participate in beanie deliveries and Superhero Adventures. These Crew Members represent the brand at events across the country.
At the individual level, customers can send encouraging notes to Superhoes or request a hat for a child with cancer they know. Consumers can also become part of the Melon Mafia and be provided with rewards as they sell products and promote the brand’s efforts.
Further, through its wholesale and customization program, Love Your Melon enables other companies, brands, and organizations to contribute to a good cause through products they may have needed to purchase anyway. Many of these activations culminate on Superhero Day. Last April, the Campus Crew gave away over 10,000 beanies at hospital events across the country.
By giving opportunities for your customers and supporters to co-author your impact, you grow awareness around your brand and enable even more good in the process.