Every Monday, the Breaking Even blog takes on a business, non-profit, or website with a good marketing idea. Have one? Send it in!

This morning, I was listening to NPR (on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network) and heard about former marketer now turned non-profit marketer Sid Lerner talking about the Meatless Monday concept him and his firm started as a way to get people to eat healthier one day a week. According to the story, 20% of the American population was aware of the term. Personally, I’ve heard about it on a few blogs I read (I do like food) and I was surprised the recognition of the phrase was that low.

Not just a campaign but a website providing useful information and incentives to step out of their comfort zone one night a week.

Meanwhile, it turns out some college campuses have also bought in to the concept but most younger generation folks aren’t going meatless for cholesterol but for the environment. (Which is a big reason why I eat meat only a couple times a week myself. Holy grain acres, Batman!(As a complete aside, you can read a whole nerdy though somewhat slanted article about grain acres here with neato diagram if you are interested.)

If you want to listen to and/or read the whole radio story, click this link. It’s an interesting idea.

Here’s how Meatless Monday is getting national attention:

Day of the week branding is catchy, especially for a regularly occuring event.

Lerner chose Monday as a day of the week to market because it’s the start of a new week. As one blogger in the story brought up, meatless dishes are often quicker to cook in addition to being healthier and less expensive.

Deciding to do a bit of research on my own day-of-the-week branding, I found that ‘Marketing Monday’, a concept I do weekly on this blog, is a whole website at MarketingMonday.com (complete with ebook download) and plenty of other websites/blogs were using the term. I felt a bit ripped off as somehow, I thought I made this up in my own head. Guess not!

Don’t just fight for your cause, give people something to work with.

Sure, your non-profit (or otherwise) has a great selfless idea… but is that enough to get people to move on it?

Meatless Monday gives people recipes, posters they can print, badges bloggers can put on their websites, and other materials to work with. Giving people an easy, attractive way to spread the word for you (or use it in their own lives) and you have a much more viral message already.

Feature other people.

Note how the Meatless Monday website features other bloggers, publications, even individuals taking the pledge. Give your supporters a small chance at fame, or even just a bit of space on your website, and they are much more likely to participate in your brand.

Plus it makes your campaign look popular. Nothing says ‘Hey, this is legit’ like people who don’t look like they come from iStockPhoto.

So whether you agree with the concept or not, Meatless Monday is a good way to look at branding a regular event you want people to associate with your blog, company, or non-profit. By the way, I subconsciously made tofu spring rolls for dinner. Hmmm….