Being One With The Community

Inspiring adventure is about story telling, also known as marketing. At Great Outdoor Provision Company, we take a grassroots approach. Our goal is to deliver the kind of story that inspires our community on a personal level. A key strategy for us to create an authentic grassroots message is to partner with local not-for-profits that support the places we love to play. Not only do these partnerships pay off by driving traffic to the store and our website, they also positively energize our store’s reputation, help build our brand and make us feel good about being part of the community we love.

A great example of an upcoming community event this Spring that inspires good storytelling and participation is the Land Trust Day. Great Outdoor Provision Co. founded this day in 1992 as a way to celebrate National Trails Day, which is always the first Saturday in June. It’s a great way to kick off the summer!

About Land Trust Day
Land Trust Day is an annual celebration in which local businesses and the state’s land trusts work together to save natural areas in the community. On this day, customers of Great Outdoor Provision Co. get more than a great deal on outdoor gear – 10% of their purchase goes to the local land trust, and they have the opportunity to help select the 2011 winner of the Vote For Land conservation project.

How It Works
The Conservation Trust of North Carolina nominates places across the state for protection. Last year’s nominees included farms, forested riverbanks, an educational nature preserve, and a century old garden by the sea. Once they’re permanently protected, the lands will offer new places to hike, bike, paddle, and enjoy nature for generations to come. The projects will also preserve habitat for endangered plants and animals, provide a buffer for rivers from pollution, and maintain the state’s scenic beauty.

The grant itself is underwritten by Great Outdoor Provision Co. and vendors to help protect the chosen site. Great Outdoor Provision Co. highlights the projects in its stores, on its website, social media sites and invites customers to vote online for their favorite.

Event Goals
1. Create consumer incentive to be involved in their community in cooperation with Great Outdoor Provision Co.
2. Create awareness around the special lands in the community.
3. Build the Great Outdoor Provision Co. brand as a community player trying to make a difference.
4. Inspire and educate other local business to join in supporting local land trusts in similar ways.

How Land Trust Day is promoted.

  • Each regional store has its own local events promoting Land Trust Day.
  • Great Outdoor Provision Co. donates a percentage of sales on Land Trust Day from each of its seven stores to land trusts that serve the stores’ regions. For example, this year our eastern NC shops are helping the NC Coastal Land Trust organize a work crew to address shoreline erosion on Ocracoke Island.
  • Digital outreach via Facebook, Twitter and email.
  • Website communication.
  • Conservation Groups outreach.
  • Manufacturer outreach: Patagonia continues to be a sponsor through their E Grants.
  • Advertising: print, radio, direct mail.
  • Word of mouth campaign.

Event Results

  • Re-affirmation that as a community we must take part in protecting the places we love. It’s the right thing to do and makes us feel good.
  • In-store traffic was well over the projected goals.
  • Community involvement: we average 50-75 people who volunteer at the event’s work days.
  • Voting participation from customers drives strong traffic to our website.
  • Local media take interest in the preservation of local open space.
  • 500% increase in Traffic on website/FB/Twitter during the last week of voting.
  • Over 100,000 impressions from conservation group outreach.

Does the ROI make sense?
The results are strong both inside and out.  In the shops our sales are well over our projected goals for each regional store. Enthusiastic customers share how they waited for “Land Trust Day” to make their boat purchase knowing that 10% of that sale would help the local cause. Outside the shops we average between 75-100 people participating in the local land service projects.  Voting participation was well over our anticipated goals. Land Trust Day helps to highlight the rapid rate at which North Carolina is losing – and will continue to lose – its beautiful open spaces to development. We know in our heart that it is important for us to take action in our community and inspire others to also do what they can to preserve these areas. Overall, the event brought great brand awareness, word-of-mouth buzz from the customers and an overload of goodwill from the community where we live and play. It was a success! Chuck Millsaps, Marketing Director, Great Outdoor Provision Co.