When a brand establishes its presence in the market and the minds of the consumers it yields great power. It has the potential to bring to the notice of its target audiences causes that need to be supported. Businesses across the world use many different mediums for advertising and marketing. In the last few years social media has become a special tool in the hands of marketers. Social media is also used by brands to support a cause.
Dove has for a long time now focused on its Real Beauty campaign. This project doesn’t focus on the brand’s products but on its customers instead. It dwells on issues that are important to their target audiences and always inspire a reaction. The brand uses its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts to showcase its Real Beauty videos.
The Johnson & Johnson Facebook page showcases the Acts of Care tab. The campaign encourages visitors to seek out inspirational stories and share them. It promotes positive action and sharing of stories that will inspire others to care.
P&G’s Thank You Mom Facebook page focuses on mothers across the world. It gives families a platform to share simple and special moments alike, and to relate to them on days when one may not put family first.
Honda’s Project Drive In aimed to save Drive In movie theatres that were on the verge of closure. It was able to generate a fair amount of attention and support amongst film watchers.
TOMS shoes is a business that was built on an altruistic foundation. For every pair of shoes that it sells the business gives away a pair of new shoes to the impoverished. The One for One message is pretty inspirational and the businesses used social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to reach out to its audiences.
The Sounds of Pertussis campaign is jointly supported by Sanofi Pasteur and March of Dimes. It spreads awareness about the disease and the relevant vaccination. For every photo that is shared on the Facebook page Sanofi Pasteur donated $1 to March of Dimes until 10,000 photos were shared.
Deep River Snacks has a rather unusual way of spreading information about the causes it supports. The relevant information about charitable organizations is printed on the chip packaging. The brand invited customers to share pictures of how they ‘Enjoy Life Naturally’, on its Facebook contest page, and the winning charities received $5000.
Innocent Drinks’ Big Knit is a yearly campaign that encourages people to knit woolly hats for the brand’s smoothies. The hats are then placed of the bottles and for each hatted drink that is sold the brand donates 30 cents to Age Action to helps seniors stay warm through the cold winter. People who can’t knit can donate wool and knitting needles. This campaign not only gets its customers actively involved but also highlights on a very important cause.
Consumers Appreciate Brands that Support a Cause
In 2008 a research study revealed that 57% of its respondents were okay with brands supporting a cause and also profiting from their association. In 2012, the Edelman’s Good Purpose study showed that this percentage had gone up to 76% of global consumers. The study also noted the following statistics:
- There was a 39% increase in the customers who would recommend brands that support a cause.
- 34% increase in brands that would be promoted by consumers.
- 9% increase in customers who would be willing to change to a brand that supported a cause.
- Over 44% customers were likely to punish brands that don’t support a cause, by not buying them.
- 44% are also willing to dissuade others from buying the brand.
The Cone Cause Evolution Study concluded that 83% Americans would like to see businesses and companies support a cause. 41% also said that they have bought a product due to the cause that it supports. It is vital that businesses take an active interest in issues that are important to their target audiences. They also need to be consistent in the message that the brand is sending out.
It is vital that a brand choose a cause that its target audience can associate with and relate to. For instance a small business could consider supporting a local cause that will bring it to the attention of its target audiences. Every time the business posts a message about the cause it need not reinforce its brand identity as the connection has already been established. It is important that the brand be sincere and committed in its efforts.