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Case Study: How Goodwill Attracted Hip Customers via Social Networking, a Virtual Fashion Show

by Kimberly Smith  |  
February 12, 2008

Company: Goodwill of Greater Washington
Contact: Brendan Hurley, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications
Location: Washington, DC
Industry: Nonprofit, B2C
Annual revenue: $21,000,000
Number of employees: 650

Quick Read:

Every day, Goodwill Industries receives generous donations of clothing, many in good shape and by popular brands. But a general public opinion of low quality and outdated merchandise looms over the nonprofit organization.

"People didn't think of Goodwill as fashionable, and we were saying 'why not?' All fashion is fashionable to somebody," said Brendan Hurley, senior vice-president of marketing & communications for Goodwill of Greater Washington.

Hurley set out to change that perception and, in particular, connect with young professional women who buy vintage clothing. By combining aggressive use of social media—including a virtual runway show, fashion blog, and social networking—with traditional marketing, Goodwill of Greater Washington has built market credibility and, as a result, increased sales.

The Challenge:

Goodwill of Greater Washington was on a mission to make its stores more appealing to young professional women. The organization had found success with two runway shows of its more fashionable items that viewers could later buy in its stores or bid for online in the organization's eBay store.

The two shows, held in Washington DC in 2005 and 2006, were effective but costly, and by definition limited to those who could attend on the day of showing. A virtual event, on the other hand, had the potential of accomplishing much more at a lower cost.

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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via

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