The Coast News Group
Walk into any Frontwave Credit Union lobby and you’ll find a kiosk hawking SWAG, with 100% of proceeds going to charity. Courtesy photo
Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

Banking on goodwill

Since rebranding in 2018, Frontwave Credit Union has installed team stores at all of its locations.

Walk into any Frontwave lobby and you’ll find a kiosk hawking SWAG: shirts, hats, hoodies, tumblers, dog leashes, totes, bottle openers … there’s something there for everybody.

The signage promises 100% of each month’s proceeds benefit a charitable cause. I applaud the effort.

Considering this strategy, I’m hard-pressed to recall previously encountering a financial institution that’s selling its stuff, then donating 100% of the proceeds to area nonprofits.

Is this enough to draw in new business? Perhaps not, though Frontwave’s commitment to the community does help it stand out of the crowd a bit … provided you actually walk into the lobby.

And no, Frontwave doesn’t sell these items on its website.

Admittedly, anyone who likes logo wear has dozens of options. From baseball to beer, there’s no shortage of organizations selling their own SWAG.

But it’s Frontwave’s donations to charitable causes that provide warm fuzzy feelings so often lacking in our increasingly transactional society.

Giving back to the community is a good thing and can be its own reward. However, giving back can also open other doors and opportunities.

Because many consumers, particularly among millennials and Gen Z, want to do business with firms dedicating themselves to making the world a better place. Frontwave is showing us an excellent way of doing such cause-related marketing.

You may also be looking for ways to increase your business’ visibility. If so, consider using logoed shirts, hats, water bottles, etc. as vehicles for giving your name a larger public presence.

However, rather than seeing it as a profit center, follow Frontwave’s lead by donating 100% of the net proceeds (so your costs are covered) to one or more community organizations.

This way, you’ll have an opportunity to help local groups whose causes you believe in. You’ll show you’re a good corporate citizen and strengthen the link between your business, these organizations and their members, supporters and clients.

Both you and the group sending out publicity and hashtagged social media won’t hurt either, of course.

Because regardless of what you sell, you too can benefit from the lesson Frontwave is teaching us all. As St. Francis of Assisi observed, “For it is in giving that we receive.”

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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