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The Top 10 Tips for Cause Branding
Companies today have to find different ways to connect with their customers and the community they are operating in. Since new brands are coming up every minute, companies need to have a relationship with their customers to sustain themselves in this competitive environment. Another need-of-the-hour initiative by companies that also helps them in relationship marketing is cause marketing or cause branding. This is another trending and impactful initiative taken by the company.
Hence, in this article, we will be diving deep into the concept of cause marketing and going through the top 10 tips through which companies can make a difference through cause branding.
The concept of Cause Branding
Cause branding or cause marketing is a situation in which the company finds out about a social issue that they are concerned with and that the community is also concerned with. Some examples could be animal testing, girl education, the mid-day meal, growing more plants, combating pollution, disposal of plastic, and others. After they have found an issue that they are concerned with and would like to improve, they invest in it. For example, planting these many trees or no animal testing They even devise marketing campaigns to which the customer can directly contribute. For example, brands like Ten Tree, Tree Tribe, Vermont Wood Studios, and Joy Tribe plant a tree for every purchase made by consumers. Here, the consumer gets the feeling of directly contributing towards the betterment of the environment by playing a role in something they believe in. Companies are using cause branding for the following reasons −
Duty to give back − They feel like since they are taking from the community and the environment, it is their duty to give back as well. Corporate social responsibility and cause marketing are some of the ways in which the company does this.
This helps the company position the brand in the consumer’s mind − More than 70% of US customers said that they would prefer a brand that aligns with their principles, has values, and does something for society over one that does not. It gives the company an edge over its competitors and helps in maintaining a strong relationship with the customers.
It helps increase sales for the company − Since the company is directly associating the efforts that they would take for the community with the sales that they make. Customers also prefer this because it makes them feel like they did this particular thing and the company was just a medium. Many companies reported a significant growth in sales when they adopted cause marketing.
Examples of renowned brands adopting cause branding include
The Body Shop − The brand’s pride is that it markets itself as someone who does not take part in animal testing and the fact that no animals are ever harmed during the creation of its products. All the products created by the brands are organic and plant-based. So, the cosmetic and skincare industry was infamous for animal testing cruelty. Bodyshop understood that and established itself as a brand away from all of it. The price of the product that the brand offers is three times the price of normal products on the market, but companies prefer the brand because of its thought process and initiative.
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream − The brand is renowned for selling ice cream. Since there is a strong working culture of democracy in the company, The company came up with the campaign "Democracy is in Your Hands." They came up with a new flavor of ice. The cream is known as Empower-Mint. The whole idea was to encourage the customers to go ahead and vote. They even created a video that showed the injustice that people in low-income communities face when it comes to voting rights and the strict requirements of documents when it comes to voting. They even provided the users with more such information on their website. The campaign was a success and a table-turner for the company.
Tips for designing an effective cause branding strategy are:
Select a cause that aligns with the organization’s goal, mission, and values − The company must select a cause that they believe in and that is not counter to the goals, missions, and workings of the company. Like many bookstores, I realized that one of the major disadvantages of hard copy is the cutting down of trees, so I promised that for every book I sold, I would plant a tree. This helps the customer get rid of the guilt and also positions the company better than its competitors.
Evaluate if your employees and your resources are aligned with the goal that you have chosen − Since the employees are going to be the ones promoting and working on the goal, they must agree to it and are motivated for it. Infosys as a company understood the motivation social work brings to the employees and hence has various social causes that an employee can pick and work on.
Analyze your competitor’s cause positioning − It is better to have your own space than share one with your competitor. The world today is thriving with problems, and any help is much appreciated. Hence, choose a cause that sets you apart.
Choose your partner carefully − because marketing is a part of business, not the entire business, and hence it is profitable to join hands with other non-profit organizations. These organizations will work on the company’s agenda, and the company can help them with monetary and human resources as needed. Carefully decide on the third party.
Decide on a name for your campaign that is impactful, clear, and concise − The placement of words and simple names is much more appreciated for the cause marketing campaign than those high-vocabulary words. It should lay down the meaning at once. Some good examples of campaign names could be Democracy is in Your Hands and Empower-Mint Chocolate by Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Develop a cross-functional team − It is crucial for cause marketing to create a strategy that takes parameters from all the departments into account. Because cause marketing is similar to developing a new product, representatives from the Human Resources, Legal, and Finance departments will be required.
Leverage the assets of the third party and the company − it is not always about buying new resources or doing everything on their own. If companies have a good image with the public, they can even have volunteers from outside the company help in the cause. Assets could also include store space, cash, donations of other kinds, tools, and others.
Communicate your cause marketing through every channel − The companies should focus on invoking the emotions of the readers when they read about the campaign and the cause. It should be able to create an impact and make the customer stop to wonder or feel good. Companies should also promote this in every marketing communication channel to create an impact and prove its authenticity.
Go local − No matter what an individual or society might think, change always begins at home and at the grass-roots level. Companies should motivate the people at the lowest level to contribute towards change management.
Continuous innovation − The key to success is continuously adapting oneself as per the needs. Companies should always add new engagement techniques, add more energy, grab opportunities, etc.
Cause marketing can create a difference for the company and in the community as well. Companies should leverage this form of marketing to set themselves apart from the rest. Consumers will not only be willing to pay extra but will also be brand loyal by choice. By giving back to society, a company is only taking more and more from the community.
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