The following blog is written by Elevate Intern, Brittyn Moellering. Brittyn is a rising senior at Auburn University with an interest in marketing. Continue reading for her overview of a recent Elevate host experience.
Creating Experiences Through Your Passions
For most of us, interacting with a penguin, leopard, or kangaroo is something you may never experience or may only experience at a zoo with a large fence standing in between. For Jungle Jack Hanna, taking care of these animals is just another average workday. Jack Hanna, an American Zookeeper, has been the star of Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown. He has also had the opportunity to appear on shows such as David Letterman, Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show.
A few weeks ago, Chick-fil-A created a Virtual Zoo Field Trip experience that Elevate’s founder, Billy Boughey, was able to be a part of. This interview with Jungle Jack Hanna was nothing short of extraordinary. Not only did this interview engage over 140k viewers, it also informed thousands of children and adults on some of the most incredible animals in the world.
Jungle Jack Hanna was accompanied by:
- an African Black Footed Penguin
- a Clouded Leopard
- a Grey Kangaroo
Billy was given the chance to not only expand his knowledge on each of these rare animals, but also hold and interact with them.
Jack Hanna expressed his knowledge and passion for these animals by creating an unforgettable experience for Billy and their viewers. Animals may not be your passion, but the experience that Jack Hanna created for his audience, led to a sense of awe and wonder in the minds and eyes of over 140k people.
Often times the easiest way to get people excited about your passion is simply by inviting them in to experience your enthusiasm. Just as Jungle Jack Hanna does every day, how can you take your passions, share them with other people, and create an unforgettable experience?
To see Elevate Founder Billy Boughey’s perspective on this recent experience, visit his blog and get the behind-the-scenes look.
Isn’t it something how top brands continue to innovate, putting out the best of the best in their industry? When Apple releases a new iPhone, people line outside the store hoping to be one of the first to try this new product.
Successful companies and individuals are exceptionally skilled at recognizing opportunity and taking initiative to explore new frontiers. This bent toward open-mindedness plays a big role in setting industry leaders apart from competitors.
So how can we all better recognize and embrace future opportunities? Let’s start with three simple steps:
Think about the possibilities ahead
At the start of each month, each week, or even each day, take time to think about the opportunities ahead. Is there a new idea you’ve had but haven’t yet shared with your team? Has someone invited you to join a networking group? Do you see opportunities for a leadership role in the near future?
Don’t be afraid to think big and often. List all the many opportunities set before you and note anything that comes to mind.
Picture the outcome
Reflect on what it would mean to take advantage of these opportunities. If you were to take initiative and explore the possibilities you listed in step one, what would this mean for you, your team, or your business? Take them one at a time and think about the type of impact each opportunity would create.
Plan your journey
- Think about the why behind each new goal
- Write down the action steps needed to succeed
- Highlight an immediate action step you can take to start your journey
- Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based)
- Share your goals and your plan with an accountability partner and ask for this person to help keep you on track
The best companies recognize the importance of a forward-thinking approach and are the first to bring new, fresh ideas to life. So how do companies like Nike, a leading brand for athletes, and Coca-Cola, the most well-known brand in the world, become the best in business?
The Keep it Fresh Strategy
Creativity and innovation are key ingredients to becoming a top brand. The most successful companies lead the charge, setting new trends and standards for their industry. Rather than struggling to keep up with the latest best practices, these companies create new, original approaches to business.
How to keep it fresh
If you’re looking to prioritize innovation but aren’t sure how to implement a Keep it Fresh Strategy, take these 5 tips into consideration:
- Welcome new ideas from every level of your team
- Take risks to try what’s never been done before
- Prioritize creativity and innovation
- Adopt a can-do mentality
- Avoid fear-based decisions
Welcoming new ideas
Create an open culture, giving your team freedom to share thoughts, ideas, and potential strategies. You have a better chance of coming across your next big success if your entire team is brainstorming and collaborating together.
Top companies aren’t afraid to take risks. They take charge and lead new initiatives, even when the idea might seem strange. In fact, they’re especially skilled at taking a shot on new, out-of-the-norm practices. If your business can say it has accomplished something that’s never been done before, you’re on the right track to becoming a top brand.
A few ways to prioritize creativity might include:
- Providing specific time and space for creative thinking
- Encouraging your team to participate in creativity challenges
- Making time for brainstorming sessions
Adopting a can-do mentality
Once you have your game-changing idea, commit to giving it a try. Create a plan of execution and be an encouraging presence throughout the process. Don’t underestimate the power of determination and positivity.
Avoiding fear-based decisions
Many incredible ideas never make it to the drawing board, simply because of fear and uncertainty. The most successful companies welcome fresh concepts, craft strategic plans, and move forward in execution. If fear stood in the way of every untried idea we would never experience world-class science, life-changing technology, or innovative business strategies.
A Keep it Fresh Strategy will set you apart from your competition and help you become a brand of choice. This is an area we’re growing in as well, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have additional tips for implementing fresh ideas into your business model, let us know in the comments below!
“Just because it hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.” – Billy Boughey
The following blog is written by Elevate Intern, Anna-Murphy Martin. Anna-Murphy is a Public Relations major at the University of Georgia with a minor in human development and in religion. Continue reading for her perspective on a recent Elevate event activation.
With Fourth of July right around the corner, pool parties, barbecues, hot weather, and flip-flops are in full swing. For kids it also means no school, sleeping in, spending time with friends and…summer camps.
FCA Power Camps
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), in partnership with the Chick-fil-A Foundation and Morehouse College, hosts a summer sporting camp for kids in the Westside of Atlanta who otherwise would not likely have an opportunity to attend camp.
But this camp is in no way “traditional.” Mid-lunch dance parties, lip sync battles, and an inflatable obstacle course make this camp impossible to miss amid books and students taking summer classes at Morehouse.
Andre Rose, or ‘Dre to the kids, uplifts the energy of 8am mornings making sleepy eyes quickly transform into eyes squinting with laughter from the moment camp begins with the Camper Pledge.
The Camper Pledge varies slightly each day, but always includes three important rules:
“I pledge to try something I haven’t done before.”
“I pledge to have fun!”
“I pledge to be a kid!”
Where the pledge and the campers really get to shine is at the different sporting stations they get to go to each day. Rather than playing football, basketball, or soccer, kids at FCA Power Camps get to interact with non-traditional sports such as archery, yoga, and lacrosse.
With these different activities, plus Chick-fil-A for lunch, guest speakers, dance parties and enthusiastic high school and college-aged leaders, achieving the Camper Pledge goes without much effort.
Power Camps are an absolute blast, but their impact stretches beyond a single week and can stretch beyond just those who were there.
The best part about the Camper Pledge is that it doesn’t just have to be for camp!
How can you try something you haven’t done before, have fun, and be a kid today?
The most successful companies know how to create customer loyalty, and they do this through a strategy called others first: caring for your customers and putting their needs before your own. It’s what every relationship needs to thrive, and is a surefire way to turn that relationship status from from “it’s complicated” to “we’re exclusive.”
How to put others first:
- Keep your customers top of mind, especially when making business decisions
- Go above what’s expected to serve them well
- Acknowledge their needs, and being willing to put these above your own
- Show an occasional grand gesture
What this looks like at Elevate:
Katie Bersinger, Elevate Chief of Staff, is passionate about client care, so much that she’s constantly brainstorming new ways to put others first. A few examples include:
- Mailing a handwritten note to clients after each event
- Celebrating a client’s birthday with a card and gift from the team
- Creating time for a personal “catch-up” before meetings
- Sending a custom gift to celebrate life events like: weddings, new babies, or work anniversaries
- Taking each guest on a full tour of the office. This shows the story behind our brand, and includes a celebratory moment for each client.
Authenticity for the win
People can tell if a company truly cares, or if they’re simply trying to create more business. Gestures–small or grand–should come from the heart. If you truly care for your clients and develop an others first strategy, you’ll be on your way to long-lasting customer relationships.
Honda. Coca-Cola. Chick-fil-A. RaceTrac. Delta.
It’s easy to see the impact these major brands have on a local community. From brick and mortar locations to financial contributions in times of need or events to raise awareness in certain markets, these companies have influence in the lives of many individuals across the nation. And what we love about what we do is that sometimes we get to play a small role in helping these companies make their mark. And the remark-ability factor for these brands is HIGH.
Wait, what’s remark-ability?
We’re glad you asked…
Recently one of our hosts had the chance to work with a local Chick-fil-A (operators are locally owned and operated–small business FTW!) in Boynton Beach, FL on a 5K that annually supports an organization called Urban Youth Impact (UYI).
UYI is on a mission to love, equip, and empower inner-city youth and their parents. The Spring Stampede 5k is one of the organization’s major fundraisers each year and enables them to be seen by thousands of people that may not otherwise connect with their brand.
Cue the confetti cannon, folks. This is a fine example of remark-ability.
When a well-known brand like Chick-fil-A uses their influence in the community to help a smaller organization like Urban Youth Impact, we think you should know about it. Sure, we grabbed a mic and brought energy into the mix, but the real heroes are the men and women in Boynton Beach sharing their resources and making a lasting impact on the youth in their community.
Want to see how awesome this day was? Check out the amazing video (above) of the Spring Stampede 5K from our friend David Bley at filmtoto.com.
PS – Interested in seeing where our team has traveled this month? Head over to our host tracker!
APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY…. EVENTS.
51 to be exact. And we have a special host tracker just for you! See where our team members can be found this month and keep scrolling to explore a day in the life of an Elevate Host.
*Click the red pins above!
WE’VE HIT AN ALL-TIME HIGH
BACK UP. WHAT’S A HOST?
- Designing crowd engagement and team building activations
- Coordinating logistics with event planners and clients
- Researching and managing sound equipment
- Creating custom playlists for each event
- Ideating and executing new systems, ideas, and technology
- Participating in team collaboration across multiple projects
WHY THE RED SHOES?
Mediocre brands are rarely the talk of the town. People take time only to praise the incredible and warn against the incredibly bad. So what’s a brand to do?
Become a Brand of Choice
Unfortunately for customers, remark-ability isn’t the norm. Fortunately for brands, remark-ability isn’t complicated–and it will make you a brand of choice.
The simplicity of it all:
- When you provide remarkable customer service, people feel valued.
- When people feel valued, they remember your brand.
- When people remember your brand, they choose your products and services.
The X Factor
Every company is obligated to deliver what they’ve promised. This isn’t remarkable. It’s expected. So how do you provide remark-ability?
Surprise and delight is the X Factor of business, and it means going above what’s promised to deliver an unexpectedly, delightful experience.
How to Surprise and Delight
Elevate Gear is now live! Our delivery process could be as simple as finding an empty box, slapping on a shipping label, and calling it a day. But how would this make us a brand of choice?
Instead, we’ve designed custom packaging that, in addition to a clean look, creates a surprise and delight moment for each customer.
Why Surprise and Delight?
It’s a simple and effective way to:
- Make customers feel valued
- Provide memorable service
- Become a brand of choice
How can you provide remark-ability and become a brand of choice?
How to Make Your Internship Program a Win-Win
It’s almost summer and that means you’re getting ready to welcome your newest team members…
Despite the coffee-making, errand-running stereotype, your internship program can make a positive impact on both you and your interns.
Internships truly are a win-win: organizations benefit from the value added by an eager, determined generation while interns learn and develop under an experienced team.
Or at least that’s the dream…
A win-win internship only works if the organization and its leaders know how to run an effective program and are willing to prioritize an intern’s growth.
Accomplishing a successful internship isn’t as hard as it may seem and we’re here to walk you through the steps.
How to run a successful internship program
Download our free how-to guide for tips, and make your next internship program a win-win!
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