Marketers are leveraging ‘Cause Marketing’ or cause-related marketing strategies more than ever to build brand loyalty and increase engagement. According to National Retail Federation 2020, “74% of respondents agree the way companies conduct themselves during social protests will impact whether they do business with those companies in the future”.
Especially the global pandemic made a huge impact on businesses who switched over to impeccable campaigns addressing the needs of the society. These campaigns receive immense audience support that turned out profitable for their business.
What is cause marketing?
Cause Marketing is when a for-profit organization supports a social cause and gains marketing benefits from it. This may include a collaboration with a non-profit organization or a charitable campaign put forth by the organization.
How can you benefit from cause marketing?
Build brand loyalty and generate awareness
A global study shows that 80% of consumers are likely to associate with brands that make an impact on society. While you are working for a social cause, your audiences are more likely to help in your mission. This promotes awareness about your presence and instills trust and confidence in your brand.
Starbucks’ support of AIDS research has been one of the most successful campaigns to date. Partnered with the Global Fund RED, Starbucks has been raising funds and generating awareness about the cause every year. Each beverage sold in red cups would contribute 10 cents towards the global fight. This red cup was viewed as the consumer’s commitment towards Starbucks that gained the beverage brand higher engagement and audience loyalty.
Source: Starbucks Stories
Supporting a good cause is always appreciated by consumers. Everyone wants to contribute to society. If one purchase can feed 2 people, wouldn’t consumers want to engage more? Naturally, this will have an immense impact on your sales.
Another great example of cause marketing is Patagonia’s Black Friday Sale campaign 2016. The clothing company had promised that they will donate 100% of revenue from the sale to environmental NGOs. The company’s expectation to gain $2 million was exceeded with their actual gain of $10 million and earned the reputation of “fundraiser for the earth” by their consumers.
Source: Hello Print
Satisfy the expectations of consumers
In the age of information, consumers want something more than quality and price. They want social responsibility from organizations. Your initiative to social development can meet the expectations of your consumers and create an impressive image of your brand.
To honor the #MeToo movement in 2019, Gillette challenged the long faith of “boys will be boys”, and changed their tagline from “The best a man can get” to “The best men can be”. The campaign was applauded by the internet legions and earned loyal followers overnight.
Attract new customers
Consumers want to purchase from a brand that is dedicated to making society a better place. Even when all factors are equal, consumers are more likely to shift to your brand because of your noble contributions to society.
Amidst the global pandemic, the ride-hailing company Uber was kind enough to encourage the audience to stay inside their house. The company broadcasted a 75-second clip curating a range of activities like celebrating birthdays at home, working from home, spending time with family, and communicating through social media. The ad ends with a message, “Stay home for those who can’t. Thank You for not riding with us”. The company had also taken initiatives to deliver food supplies to medical professionals and police forces working in the frontline.
Strengthen Employee loyalty
Your employees are the representatives of your company. When your dedicated actions make an impact in society, your employees feel proud of being a part of your company. This encourages their loyalty and confidence towards your company.
In the wake of a global pandemic, brands initiated campaigns to honor the frontline workers and serve the medical needs of society. The beverage brand Pepsi was one of the co-sponsors for the ‘One World Together’ organized by WHO and Global Citizen – a global entertainment special starring big stars like Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, and appearances from late-night TV hosts, athletes, and world leaders. The brand launched a related campaign #StayInWithUs urging the audience to maintain protocols and support the frontline workers.
Source: Marketing Dive
You’re an edge over your competitors
In today’s marketplace, the competition is quite extreme and you cannot just compete on the basis of price and quality. It’s obvious that consumers will determine their purchase based on lower price and superior quality while choosing from two identical commodities. But, a product that can donate to a social cause has a higher preference than the other.
Cause marketing as interpreted by consumers is not just about donating money (obviously that helps) but something more than that. Creating awareness and integration of social responsibility to your brand is what consumers want from you. Choose the cause you believe in, your employees feel passionate and motivated with, and is relatable to your target audience.
Wrapping up, ‘cause marketing’, if done perfectly can earn you the key to the success ladder. Supporting a noble cause, not only benefits society but also your organization.