Selecting the most suitable charitable organization for a brand from among numerous noteworthy causes can be a daunting task. That’s why Tony Lamb, president of shaved-ice truck brand Kona Ice, designed his brand’s giving-back efforts around individual communities rather than large-scale nonprofits and campaigns.
This year, Kona decided to capture all of its community initiatives under one campaign, the “Flavor Our World” initiative. Through the initiative, Kona Ice promotes all of the work its franchisees are doing in their communities.
“We capture it, label it, give it a face, give it a name, so we can push it forward,” Lamb says. “A lot of it is based in schools and raising money for schools and school programs. … Probably the second-highest number is youth sports where we go help out teams.” He adds that about a quarter of the company’s efforts are devoted to “individualized causes.”
The brand launched the “Flavor Our World” website this year with photos and videos from recent charitable events. Kona Ice also hopes to engage consumers with its new “Flavor Our World” promotional video posted on the company’s YouTube channel and website.
“The way I picture it is our world is muted colors, it's a tough world out there,” Lamb says. “When Kona comes into town, when Kona pulls into a community, things get brighter and more engaging.”
Lamb involved local musicians and animators to bring the “Flavor Our World” video to life.
“I'm so proud of this,” Lamb says. “This has been the image in my head forever, so it's very exciting for me because I can finally get it out of my head and watch it.”
After rolling out the campaign to franchisees at a brand convention last month, Lamb has received dozens of franchisee videos and stories concerning giveback programs in their community.
“The local person is so passionate about the individual things in their community. It's really tough to say one cause across the board and everyone connect with it,” Lamb says. “On a very localized, individual level, the passion is amazing in what they're doing.”
Since the launch of the company in 2008, Kona Ice has given back more than $16 million to its local communities, Lamb says.
By Marlee Murphy