When you’re a networking group that can’t meet in person during a pandemic, how do you show members they’re still important to you? Send flowers and candy for Valentine’s Day? Or a gift bag? That sounds nice, but The Dunstan Group helped Hood Hargett Breakfast Club show their love in an award-winning way. The PPAI – the professional group for the promotional products industry-recognized The Dunstan Group’s above-and-beyond efforts for the “Local Love” Box with their Silver Pyramid Award for Client Programs.
The idea for a Local Love Box started as a way to reach out to members during Hood Hargett Breakfast Club’s February 2021 virtual meeting. Our country was already a full year into pandemic lockdowns, and the idea needed to stand out in a month known for love — and Valentine’s Day. The result was a beyond-hearts-and-flowers success.
Hood Hargett Breakfast Club wanted members to know they were all loved and appreciated not only by the club but by each other. What began as, “Thanks for being here,” turned into an opportunity for members to reach out and “show love” to each other with custom gifts and special opportunities they could use to elevate their brands and boost each others’ businesses and their own.
The donations started small but grew as members pushed each other’s creativity. Free billboards, radio time, and printed ad space joined unique branded items that not only shared members’ names and logos, but stood out and were helpful, too. In all, each “Local Love” Box, emblazoned with red hearts and messages of “Love, Networking, & Support,” held $4,075 worth of branded love for Hood Hargett members.
The Local Love Boxes were delivered with lunches from an upscale restaurant by a member black car service, just hours before the February virtual meeting. Members were told not to open it early, and their reactions showed the campaign was a huge success!
“We started with a simple goal,” says The Dunstan Group Founder and President Scott Dunstan. “In the month of love, Hood Hargett wanted to show members they care. We helped them do that with products that would keep each member’s business top-of-mind in a year they couldn’t shake hands in person.”
In the end, the Local Love Box showed that branded merchandise works to elevate what each company could give back to the group and to each other, and to generate business. The idea of showing “Local Love” was the warm embrace each of us had missed in a year of social distancing when businesses yearned to welcome back customers and share smiles face-to-face.
“Working with Scott Dunstan, Brian Young, and the entire Dunstan Group team on our COVID ‘Local Love’ Box project changed the way our organization does business with each other,” says Jenn Snyder Gibson, Executive Director of the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club. Acknowledging the difficulties of taking an exclusively in-person networking group into the virtual world, Snyder recounts the amount of work it took The Dunstan Group to secure creative branded items from 75 members for the box in just two weeks.
“Hands down, The Dunstan Group is THE MOST talented, creative, and forward-thinking team I have ever worked with!” she exclaimed.
Beyond that initial meeting, the Local Love Box continues to share exponential and immeasurable returns as members return to their tables, shake hands, and remember the Local Love and branded merchandise given to them when they needed each other most.