When walking through Wegmans recently I noticed more and more companies are joining the cause-related bandwagon. If there are two comparable products sitting on the shelf next to each other and one product supports a non-profit, without doubt I will select the product that backs a charity, no matter what the charity is. In my mind the company’s brand and reputation has just been elevated. Clearly the marketing team behind the campaign won me over, just like millions of other consumers.
If executed right, cause-related marketing can be a win-win situation with both the charity benefitting from donations and exposure and the corporation benefitting from increased brand loyalty and even a boost in employee morale.
In 1985, American Express was among the first noted companies to launch a cause-related marketing campaign to raise money for restoring the Statue of Liberty. American Express donated one cent to the restoration each time a card holder used their AMEX. As a result, the number of new cardholders grew by 45 percent, and card usage increased by 28 percent – pretty impressive for a campaign launched in the early 80’s before the use of the Internet and social media. If the campaign was rolled out today, just imagine how much more could be raised!
A more recent cause-related marketing campaign that has had great success is Tide Loads of Hope. Consumers who purchase a “yellow cap” laundry detergent bottle and enter the cap code online will help Tide donate $1 per bottle to disaster relief. A great marketing campaign, the packaging shows faces of real people Tide has helped, including those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Other successful cause-related campaigns (yes, these companies have also influenced my purchasing decisions) include Yoplait and its long-running Save Lids to Save Lives campaign to raise money for Susan B. Komen for the Cure. The cause-related marketing program has raised more than $26 million. Wow! Impressive and a shinning example of a flourishing campaign, considering consumers have collected and mailed in millions of sticky lids.
(Courtesy of www.i.timeinc.net)
Instead of partnering with an established non-profit, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign created a cause-related marketing discussion of beauty stereotypes helping to breakdown the barriers and raise money for the Dove Self-Esteem Fund.
Here are a couple of other favorites of mine: