GOOD CAUSE IS GOOD BIZ:
Carrie Peele, owner of Blue Diamond Limousine and Sedans
, recently bought a stretch limousine and painted it pink to support breast cancer research and awareness. In this Q&A with LCT writer Jim Luff, Peele provides firsthand insights on the benefits and fleet management of a pink limo.
Q: You say you have booked the vehicle at 30 breast cancer events. When you say "booked", are these paid runs that produce revenue from which you donate 10% to the cause?
A: Each event is one that will host Blue Diamond Worldwide Transportation in order to promote the pink limousine and raise awareness of our contributions to breast cancer awareness.
Q: Who do you actually donate the money to?
A: 10% of all rental fees will be donated to the Pretty in Pink Foundation, an organization that provides the financial assistance necessary to make survival a reality for breast cancer patients.
Q: How much money have you given so far and what are the projections for donations the remainder of the year?
A: I have only had the vehicle for one week, therefore my donations have been limited. However, to date I have donated $500. Over the remainder of the year, I am projecting a donation of $10,000 or more.
Q: Do clients specifically ask for this pink vehicle?
A: Yes, we now have clients specifically requesting the pink limousine. As promotion continues, I expect that trend to not only continue, but to increase in frequency.
Q: Is there a price difference for chartering a pink limo versus another vehicle in your fleet?
A: No, there is not a price difference for chartering the pink limousine. The only difference is the commitment of 10% of the charter fee being donated when the pink limousine is requested and used.
Q: Have any clients refused to take a pink limousine?
A: Thankfully, no! We are constantly getting calls about this newest addition to the Blue Diamond fleet! Each person who calls says she is either a breast cancer survivor, or personally connected to someone who has battled the disease. Acceptance of the vehicle has been universal.
Q: Do clients know in advance that a pink limousine will be arriving to pick them up?
A: Yes, they do. Since the pink limousine is available by request only, all clients are aware that the pink limousine will be arriving for their event.
Q: Was the pink paint done by the coachbuilder or done after you received the vehicle?
A: I had the limousine painted after it was received. However, it was purchased exclusively for the purpose of becoming our area’s only breast cancer awareness limousine.
Q: Was there an extra cost for pink?
A: As we all know, there is an extra cost for everything these days. There was an additional cost associated with the pink paint and the actual paint job. However, it was certainly worth the investment to honor the survivors in our area, and those who have fought alongside them.
Q: Is there a survivor every single week for your luncheons?
A: Certainly having a survivor every single week adds depth as to how prevalent breast cancer is in society. Yes, each month we host a survivor at the Triangle Ladies Power Lunch. At first, it seemed a bit daunting to try to find a new survivor each month. However, it quickly became apparent that the prevalence of breast cancer is increasing, and every survivor has a remarkable story to tell.
Q: Did you feel there was a financial risk when buying a pink vehicle and departing from traditional black and white colors?
A: The risk was never a factor in my decision to add the pink limousine to the Blue Diamond fleet. Recognizing the journey these women have taken, and the strength they have exhibited during their fight, made the decision so much easier.
Q: What types of charters do you do in the pink limo?
A: We do charters for any event that we can. These include Carolina Hurricane NHL games, wedding shows, Relay for Life events throughout North Carolina, benefit galas, and even the North Carolina Council for Women events.
Q: Does the limo produce enough revenue to pay for its own overhead or do you subsidize the cost from other vehicles hoping the marketing exposure with help gain company name recognition to increase overall revenue?
A: In time, the pink limousine will most certainly generate enough revenue to cover the overhead. However, this is really a win-win situation from my perspective. By allowing the pink limousine to be chartered for everything from bachelorette parties to birthday bashes, coupled with the exposure it will generate for Blue Diamond Worldwide Transportation as a whole, revenue generation will increase. But, perhaps most importantly, each time the pink limousine is seen throughout the greater Raleigh area, awareness for breast cancer and its survivors will dramatically increase, keeping it at the forefront of residents’ minds. That was the reason the limousine was purchased — everything else is an added bonus.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor