Cause-related marketing is growing rapidly, resulting in millions being raised for charity and positive sales for brands as well. It’s a form of marketing in which a company and a charity team up together to tackle a social or environmental problem and create business value for the company at the same time.
Cause-related marketing has grown from a $120 million industry in 1990 to $2.06billion in 2017 (Source: Cause Good)
It’s often seen as the territory of the big consumer facing brands, and high profile examples such as Tesco and Computers for Schools, or Pampers and Unicef, readily spring to mind.
But how does cause-related marketing benefit brands, and can smaller businesses also get behind giving?
Four ways in which giving builds brands
By associating a business with a charity or social cause, businesses benefit from showing their brand values in action:
1. Set the product or service apart from the competition
33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. (Source: Unilever Consumer Study)
2. Encourage customers to switch brands
When choosing between two brands of equal quality and price, 90% of U.S. shoppers are likely to switch to a cause branded product. (2015 Cone Communications Global CSR Study)
3. Increase sales and nurture customer loyalty.
When companies or brands are clearly linked to a purpose, 80 % of them outperform the market. For brands which are not purpose-led, only 32% of them manage to perform better than the market. ( Insights 2020 study by Kantar Millward Brown)
4. Satisfy customer expectations
80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues. (Source: Edelman Trust Barometer)
And, obviously and most importantly, the chosen charity or social cause also benefits from both increased funding and any marketing activity to raise awareness.
Pampers: a case study in effective cause-related marketing
Pampers wanted to demonstrate that they care about every child having a good start in life and the Pampers-Unicef partnership involved Pampers donating the cost of one tetanus vaccine for each branded pack of nappies it sold: a simple, impactful, 1 pack=1 vaccine message, and since 2003 300 million tetanus vaccines have been funded. Research also proved that Unicef’s brand name contributed significantly to Pampers’ ability to attract new customers and to communicate its values as a brand that cares; and that it also improved the recruitment and retention of employees at P&G, the parent company.
How smaller businesses can make the most of cause-related marketing
It’s possible to take the principles of these large scale brand-charity partnerships and transfer them to your business. While big cause-related campaigns may incorporate charitable partnerships into advertising, packaging and promotional activity; at the other end of the spectrum displaying your values and your generosity can be as simple as publicising your business giving and linking it to your work.
At Work for Good, we make it simple for your business to display your values by building giving into your business, and then growing your brand by shouting about it. The distinctive Work for Good mark allows you to tell the world that you are making charitable donations and to and communicate your brand values.
We also handle the legal complexity that comes from linking charitable giving with sales of goods or services, known as Commercial Participation Agreements.
We know that customers and consumers are increasingly motivated by brands and businesses with purpose. They want their consumer choices to mean something, to be ethical and sustainable and to tell a story about their personal identity. If you can present them with an option which makes a difference, they will be more motivated to choose your business.
The most effective partnerships are underpinned by key principles which mean that businesses can build their brand as well as donating to their chosen charity. These alliances should be mutually beneficial. Work for Good will make it easy for you to donate and then tell the world about your giving.
How to build your brand through giving
If you’d like to find out more about how Work for Good could build your brand, please get in touch