Oct 14 ,2016
Can you tell the difference? Is one better than the other?
Whether one is a better option for your brand over the other is for you to decide, but first you should be able to differentiate between the two to evaluate what they entail, and how each can be designed to perform well in terms of supporting business goals and making a lasting impact for your brand. According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, “80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues”. The question is no longer if you should be involved in a cause, but how.
Purpose Driven Brands:
Successful purpose-driven brands are businesses that integrate a cause into their business model so well, that there can be no separation between the cause and brand without changing the very essence of the brand.
With a purpose driven brand, business operations are designed to meet a societal, environmental or humanitarian need. TOMS, for example, saw an explosion of success not because of unique style of superior quality of products, or even a lower price point than leading shoe companies, but because it sought to involve its consumer in a business model that countered what anyone was used to. It made money by giving away shoes, and became a brand that sought more than profit. TOMS set out to provide shoes for impoverished children through a sustainable model they called “one-for-one”. Under this model three primary parties benefitted: children living in extreme poverty were provided shoes, TOMS profited through a sustainable business model, and the consumer, as the driving force, could get a comfortable stylish shoe in exchange for “voting for good” with their purchase. Not only did TOMS take on a humanitarian issue, but it extended the opportunity for direct involvement to their consumers, a generation hungry for social change. In fact, 69% of millennials want business to make it easier for them to get involved in societal issues, and TOMS allowed them to do so by simply shopping for a casual pair shoes. The authenticity of TOMS’ commitment to change doesn’t stop with their own success, and it’s reflected in their commitment to invest in the “next generation” of social entrepreneurs. By continuing to invest their profit in social issues, the brand continues to convey the message that their primary goal is change, not profit.
Brands Supporting a Cause:
Brands that do not have an inherent purpose driven business model can still do good by creating a cause marketing campaign, or a temporary relationship with a cause. The key to a successful campaign is making sure the cause is culturally relevant, authentic to the brand, and consumers can get behind it. CVS for example made headlines when it decided to stop selling cigarettes. As a pharmacy, its mission is to connect people with products that help them on their path to better health. As such, tobacco went against their mission and was removed from their shelves. The corresponding campaign communicated that their mission was more important than profit, and that the company is committed to internal change to ensure that their operations align with their mission.
Good Solutions Group has worked with leading brands to create and execute cause marketing campaigns that garnered strong business results. GSG’s secret recipe for its campaigns consist of three main ingredients: involving consumers, driving business results, and choosing the right social cause. By identifying a cause that is inherently tied to the mission of the brand and is important to its consumers, GSG paves the way to help brands give back to a cause that has the potential to make a lasting impact not only for the community, but within the brand and for the consumers. This takes market research, listening and ability to understand the brand and its consumers well. For example, we understood Farmer John to be a brand that produced quality meats, food that brought families together to share meals. Grilling stations in Southern California beach communities needed maintenance, birthing a partnership that led to increased sales, positive PR coverage, and a service for the community.
Whether you’re an established company looking for some help with a cause campaign or a startup looking to change the world, there are plenty of opportunities to give back, build relationships with consumers and improve business. Contact us for a consultation.
Mar 09 ,2016
What is your company doing to help contribute toward the progression of social or environmental causes? If you can’t answer that question, you’re late to the party. Brand participation in social causes is no longer seen as a feel-good charitable act. It may be the reason consumers are choosing to switch brands.
According to a study released last spring by Cone Communications/Ebiquity on the issue of corporate social responsibility, today’s consumer would likely point to the latter: a brand known more for its social responsibility than for its name. How much more likely? Study findings reveal that “90 percent of global consumers would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given similar price or quality.”
This is an opportunity for brands to communicate the values that are inherent to their company, any social initiatives they support, and the impact of their involvement. Cause marketing initiatives can help relay that information to reach target audiences through results-oriented methods. The suggestion here isn’t to pick a cause and run with it just for the sake of following a successful marketing trend (a trend that is here to stay by the way), but to develop a campaign that is informed by research and interests that appeal to your target market.
It doesn’t stop at becoming involved in social causes either; being able to communicate those initiatives and their results are key to successful cause marketing. An earlier study by Cone Communications indicated that “91 percent [want] to hear about companies’ CSR efforts and progress. However, for that communication to resonate, messages must be honest and clear”. Research also revealed that the preferred communication channels for this information, in ranking order, were product packaging/labels, media, advertising, social media, and mobile.
If you’re playing catch up, begin to consider the following:
- What causes is your brand affiliated with?
- Which are most relevant to your brand and internal values?
- Which do your target audience value most?
Cause marketing experts can help you figure that out to find your starting point before moving on to communicating your causes to your consumer market. For examples of successful cause-marketing campaigns, take a look at how Good Solutions Group helped Coca Cola, Odwalla, North Face, and other corporate brands develop successful, results-driven campaigns that communicate the causes your company cares about.
Apr 28 ,2015
More than ever, consumers want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place. In fact ninety-three percent of consumers are concerned with this very issue. In 2015 alone, cause sponsorship is estimated to reach $1.92 Billion, an increase of 3.7% compared to 2014, and consistently increasing numbers indicate that cause marketing is here to stay for good (pun intended).
A recent example of a successful cause campaign is Dove, who earlier this month dropped their newest video in which women “Choose Beautiful”. The video, on April 7th, received extremely positive press coverage as social media users and news outlets took to Facebook and Twitter in support of the campaign.
While it’s true that Millennials typically don’t engage in brand loyalty like their Baby Boomer parents, supporting a worthy cause or purpose is something all the generations have in common. Eighty percent of millennials are more inclined to support causes offline after first “liking” or “following” an organization online, followed by the older generations who are reported at 64%. Furthermore, 76% are more likely to tell a friend about the partnering cause, proving that while a great product might win over your head or wallet, the right cause can win over a consumer’s heart.
In Dove’s case, the cause encouraged women to empower themselves by choosing to be beautiful. The recent “Choose Beautiful” campaign, along with Dove’s other “Real Beauty” campaigns, has transformed Dove’s brand into something more than personal care products. It is mainly the cause that differentiates Dove from their competitors who occupy the space of beauty products that perpetuate seemingly unattainable beauty standards.
By choosing the right cause that resonates with your target demographic, your product can have the upper hand in a vastly competitive market and consumers will recognize the effort. Cause-marketing can greatly increase sales, visibility, and media coverage resulting in an enhanced company image and increased customer loyalty.
Check out the “Choose Beautiful” Campaign by Dove.
Apr 02 ,2015
You have a clearly defined, well packaged, and competitively priced product or service. So that’s enough, right? Your product will be flying off the shelf or your phone will be ringing off the hook. Not necessarily. You also need to create marketing promotions that draw the attention of the consumer in a very crowded marketing and advertising marketplace. The key is to start by identifying your goals and finding the promotion type that is ideal for your business.
We’ve rounded up some great examples of brands that soared past their goals with creative and well executed campaigns.
Company: Target – Campaign: Bullseye University Live
Target created an enormous mobile pop up to push content for a national four-day digital event. The multi-story Bullseye University Live dormitory experience was designed, built, and set up on the UCLA campus from July 15- 18, 2013. The dorm was outfitted perfectly from floor to ceiling with their university line and featured a live stream in which viewers could scroll over products that were featured in the dorm, which then activated pop-up boxes with additional information and links for instant purchases. The event generated 76 million twitter impressions while campus activation reached more than 140,000 students and their families.
Company: Honda – Campaign: Honda Civic Tour
Honda opened this campaign by slowly revealing daily clues and sweepstakes entries to meet the then mystery headliner. Honda and Maroon 5 reveled the partnership via an outtakes video that aired on”The Tonight Show”. Fans were then able to purchase exclusive Honda pre-sale tickets and register for chances to win several additional promotions. The tour was a huge success that hosted about 600,000 concert attendees across 32 concert events. This was the largest social media engagement for Honda.
Digital and Social Media
Company: Ford Motor Co. – Campaign: Fiesta Movement: The Sequel
Ford jumped back in the saddle for a defining moment in experiential marketing with the Fiesta Movement: The Sequel; a returning program which was a major success of the vehicle’s launch. The primary objective was to engage millennial drivers into the fold. Ford gathered 100 of its hand picked influencers to own the campaign and the Fiesta for six months. Ford then gave their Fiesta Agents a car, gas card, camera, insurance and a list of missions as they set off onto the open road to show off the Fiesta features. The intriguing and entertaining content that was created communicated the cars personality and seamless integration into active millennials lives. The Fiesta Movement resulted in record high sales and captured more of the target audience than any other car in its class. Among millennials, the Fiesta made up 30 percent of cars sales and the “agents” created over 14,000 pieces of original content.
Company: Coca Cola – Program: Perserve Our Parks
This hugely successful multi-year retail program with Stater Bros. Markets in Southern California encouraged consumers to join Coca-Cola in supporting environmental causes. Coke donated $1 to California States Parks for every $10 of Coca-Cola products purchased and engaged shoppers to contribute as well. Through outrageous in-sotre displays, Coke and Stater Bros. reminded shoppers how important our parks are, resulting in shopper donations of over $1 million. In total, over $2.5 million was raised over 4 years to support California State Parks, and Coke received over 800 million earned media impressions along with significant increase in all sales metrics. A great example of good marketing, doing good!