In the past 8 months have you poured a bucket of ice water over your head? Or maybe you watched a video of someone dumping ice water on themselves (or an unsuspecting friend)? Thought so. Cause marketing is a tool that is widely used to raise awareness for a cause, while typically creating a connection in the consumer’s mind between that cause and a brand. Why does it work?
Companies must find a way to stand apart from the sea of brands and products that are available to consumers. Studies show that 80 percent of consumers would switch to a brand that supports a cause. In fact, 41 percent of consumers have bought a product because it was associated with a cause or issue.
Give the consumer something to latch onto and watch them come back time and time again.
>>Cause marketing campaigns that worked
When CVS stopped smoking and left $2 billion in tobacco sales behind, they were instantly the talk of the social web. No matter what was thrown at them, the pharmacy giant stayed true to the declaration that they stood behind consumers’ personal health by responding to journalists, social posts and everyday commentary.
Patagonia’s Anti-Black Friday campaign focused on bringing information and ideas for repairing or repurposing “old, worn out” Patagonia clothes instead of purchasing new threads on famed shopping day, Black Friday. Patagonia partnered with iFixit to provide consumers with free repair manuals for clothing. The earth-conscious brand claimed sustainability and recycling as their cause and asked customers to help them in their efforts.
TOMS, a story we’re all familiar with, has the slogan One for One. Each time a pair of TOMS shoes are purchased, another pair is given to a child in Argentina. Founder Blake Mycoskie found a need that resonated with him and created a movement to help. Passion attracts passion and soon he had a team of employees to help. This ongoing cause creates ample opportunities for cause marketing programs and is a great example of how finding your company’s passion helps to create a long term cause where you truly make a difference and create a brand mission that is easily recognizable.
>>Causes work best socially
Word of Mouth marketing has a long history of success. People love to share what they know and believe in. A cause marketing campaign can be taken to the next level by scaling the conversation globally through social media. By incorporating various types of content (blog posts, infographics, videos, short copy, etc.) that’s all dedicated to one cause, you can create an online conversation – a buzz around the brand and cause.
Cause marketing is one way to create loyal customers who believe in your brand and become brand advocates. It’s a method that taps into human emotions that we each connect with – it inspires us to make a difference, even if it’s merely buying a pair of shoes. A successful cause marketing campaign focuses on two goals: driving brand awareness and acceptance, and helping the cause it’s associated with.
What causes have resonated with you?