Cause Marketing Needs to be Sincere
There’s no denying that cause marketing campaigns can be successful but there are new expectations that require attention. Companies interested in adopting a cause marketing campaign need to execute so that the campaign resonates with their audiences in a way that is sincere and that evokes a strong connection between the company’s brand and it cause of choice. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty does that for me because it targets women of all ages, shapes and sizes throughout the U.S. and brings them together to celebrate natural beauty and inspire them to have the confidence to be comfortable in their own skin.
Cause marketing is a marketing effort that benefits social and other charitable causes. Some of the most influential cause marketing campaigns include: the (RED) Campaign, Box Tops for Education, the Livestrong bracelet campaign and the Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives campaign. These big campaigns have been around for years and continue to populate the Web, TV and print mediums as well as our local grocery stores and coffee shops.
Just last week I took this picture of the latest Tully’s product display. This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Tully’s is just one of the many companies to join the cause. In October, the color pink is everywhere. We’re all familiar with the little pink ribbons. The pink ribbon symbolize the fight against breast cancer and now, years after the introduction of the ribbon, the color pink provides the same recognition year round.
According to a recent USA Today poll, 84 percent of all Americans including 95 percent of those ages 18 to 29, now “shop for the cure,” buying pink products to benefit breast cancer research. While highlighting the campaigns success, the poll also illustrates mixed feelings about the campaign with consumers feeling that Breast Cancer Awareness is taking all the limelight away from other cancer originations that need recognition and funding. Recently, there has been a heightened skepticism associated with some cause marketing campaigns. According to an article in Philanthropy Journal, 67 percent of consumers feel that companies are supporting organizations to merely sell product.
Taking into consideration the mixed emotions towards these nation-wide campaigns, it seems that it’s no longer enough to merely sell a product to benefit a good cause.