Millennials, Social Media and Making a Difference
Millennials are often teased and scoffed at for being a generation of social media obsessed narcissists. But those quick to pass those judgements haven’t been exposed to millennial startups like Love Your Melon who use the power of social media to spread good in the world.
Love Your Melon began in 2012 as a lemonade stand class project for an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Like most entrepreneurs, Zachary Quinn and Brian Keller were told by professors that their idea would never work. Quinn and Keller wanted to put a hat on every child battling cancer in America by using a one-for-one model, giving away one hat for every one they sold. Hats were chosen because of harsh Minnesotan winters where many hats were either fashionable or warm but never both.
They started by setting up a stand outside of Quinn’s parents’ restaurant with 400 hats manufactured in the USA thanks to loans from friends and family. They sold out of all 200 hats in two days, donating the other 200 as promised. That first year, the company did $61,000 in sales on 2,050 hats sold, prompting Quinn to drop out of college and focus on the business full time.
LOVE YOUR MELON'S SUCCESS
The millennial run company was quick to take to social media, undoubtedly a major factor in their rapid growth. With active Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, Love Your Melon sees excellent conversion and ROI rates on both organic content and paid ads. Part of this is their well crafted content, but the company’s mission to make a difference in the lives of kids with cancer certainly helps, too.
Love Your Melon produces extremely sharable content thanks to their videos of how the company has impacted cancer patients, such as helicopter rides and meet and greets with their celebrity idols. The company also works with college volunteers who visit hospitals and put a smile on the kids’ faces while dressed in superhero capes.
In addition to donating over 147,000 hats to children with cancer, Love Your Melon has donated over $4.7 million to the pediatric cancer research. 50% of their profits from all products including beanies, scarves, t-shirts and other athleisure wear is donated to nonprofit partners fighting pediatric cancer, as well as the Love Your Melon Fund which creates therapeutic experiences for children battling cancer and their families.
Love Your Melon's Growth
By 2016, the Minneapolis start-up had grown to 11 employees with $21 million in revenue. Their growth numbers have consistently shown digits with multiple zeros. Thanks to a college assignment, Quinn and Keller are generating astounding profits while giving 50% of them away.
Category: Business Spotlight