Prizewheels and Positioning

Let’s take a minute to talk about the humble prizewheel:


Spin it to win it, baby!

Step right up and get a coupon, a free soda, or even… another spin at the wheel!

These often bother me because they’re so often focused on the “what” rather than the “why.”

If you’re a mission-driven organization, you want to stay as close to your mission and story as possible. When you start leading with product product product, you’re on the what. Enticing people with coupons, free snacks, and product giveaways… that’s leading with what.

Larger purpose = why. Your specific implementation = what.

When you lead with what, you position your org as a commodity provider - not a leader working towards a greater cause that people want to be a part of.

It’s totally possible to set up your wheel to lead with why though!

Maybe instead of a product coupon, people can win a chance to participate in one of your company’s movement-building trainings. Or a call with a leader on an important issue.

Or you can set up a meta-game that each spin of the wheel impacts. So if you work on climate issues, you could have a little forest diorama set up next to the wheel, and the BANKRUPT / WHAMMY spaces knock cut down a cardboard tree in that mini forest 😢

I’d love to see that prize wheel.

So if you’re tempted to just hand out cash but put some spinning in front of it first, think about how the prizes can help you and your spinners to some larger goal. Something larger than a free soda.

Something larger than two free sodas, even!