“The vendors are the face of The Big Issue and the reason we do what we do.”
The term ‘social’ took on a different meaning to what i’m used to last week when Martina, Steph and I met up with the marketing department at the Big Issue to talk about how to best integrate social media into their business. Since its launch in 1996, The Big Issue vendors in Australia have sold over 6 million magazines, with more than $13.2 million going into the pockets of Australia’s homeless and disadvantaged. The mechanics of their charity are what appeal to me the most.
“Authorised vendors buy the magazine for $2.50 from The Big Issue and sell it on the streets for $5, keeping the difference.”
Wow. If you purchase this competitively priced, quality magazine you will instantly put money into the pocket of some of Australia’s most disadvantaged people. It’s one of clearest customer value propositions I’ve ever heard of. In addition to financially rewarding some of Australia’s most needy citizens the Big issue involves their vendors in another important human activity, socialising.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to be homeless, but I’m sure it feels very isolated at times. I know a lot of people who’d find it hard to imagine this isolation, what with all the conversations taking place in the online and offline world. I just think it’s incredible achievement how the Big Issue brings people out of their isolation and involves within society again. This social interaction could be more enriching than the $2.50 going into their pocket (probably not).
After learning more of TBI’s goals from the marketing team and sharing some of our thoughts on how social media can help, we’re proud to announce FRANk Media will be working with TBI in the coming months. Martina, Steph and myself are really excited about what we can contribute to the media mix, I know the marketer in me sees an incredibly strong brand, a very unique sales force and the potential for massive social presence.