Stirring Up Change: Williams Sonoma & Share Our Strength
In 2010, Williams Sonoma began a partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign due to the company’s commitment to social service and their mission to bring communities together around food – both directly aligned with No Kid Hungry’s work and mission to end childhood hunger in America.
When seeking a partnership with No Kid Hungry, Williams Sonoma focused on three strategic business objectives: deep and meaningful employee engagement; driving national PR; and driving customer traffic in retail. No Kid Hungry has helped Williams Sonoma meet these goals, differentiate the brand from their competitors, break through their markets, and continues to add new initiatives and collaborations to build the partnership year over year.
The partnership between Williams Sonoma and No Kid Hungry in 2018 included many successful pulse points throughout the year. The partnership strategy is to fully integrate No Kid Hungry into the Williams Sonoma brand DNA so that the cause is always top of mind for employees and customers alike. Williams Sonoma raised $2 million dollars for No Kid Hungry in 2018 alone, and almost $7 million dollars since the partnership began in 2011.
One of the signature tactical programs developed as part of this partnership is the celebrity-designed spatula campaign, which launched in 2014.
Celebrities, chefs, and influencers such as Questlove, Kevin Bacon, Giada De Laurentiis, Gwen Stefani, and many more design their own personalized spatula for Williams Sonoma, which their fans and customers can then purchase in-store and online.
In 2018, Williams Sonoma and No Kid Hungry saw even more significant and authentic integration of celebrity spatula designers than ever before. Many of the 2018 spatula designers posted on their own social media accounts to highlight the meaning behind their design and passion for ending childhood hunger, which drove brand awareness and sales for Williams Sonoma and raised awareness for No Kid Hungry.
Additionally, for the 2018 holiday season, Williams Sonoma also created a gold heart spatula, candle, and set of mugs to benefit No Kid Hungry. 30% of the retail price of each item sold was donated to No Kid Hungry. No Kid Hungry was also featured in Williams Sonoma’s print catalog, which highlighted the products that support No Kid Hungry during the holiday timeframe including the gold heart spatulas, candle, and mug set.
Aside from product creation, Williams Sonoma has leveraged their vendor relationships to support No Kid Hungry through an annual vendor golf tournament. They reached out to their vendors offering product demonstrations and giveaways, an all- inclusive day of golf, and a dinner as part of the golf tournament sponsorship packages.
Outside of product co-creation and vendor engagement, Williams Sonoma ran a point-of- sale campaign in stores, online, and through their call centers from August-October 2018 where customers were encouraged to donate $5, $10, $25, $50 or more. Williams Sonoma supported their promotion strategy through a number of additional assets ranging from customized, in- store point of purchase signage to a Williams Sonoma/No Kid Hungry landing page on their website featuring hunger statistics. They also included robust in-store signage on the front door of every store, which included the No Kid Hungry logo and messaging on the amount of meals provided with the purchase of a celebrity-designed spatula.
In addition to the $2 million raised for No Kid Hungry, the partnership has also provided Williams Sonoma employees, both in stores and at the corporate headquarters, an opportunity to meaningfully engage with a cause that affects every one of their communities directly. Williams Sonoma has also received a great deal of press from the partnership and the celebrity spatula designs continue to drive new customer acquisitions, engage employees and drive store traffic during the spatula campaign.