The Art Of Cause Marketing – Priyanka From IIM Lucknow

Cause-related marketing is when for-profit and not-for-profit organisations take up an initiative for mutual benefit. Social responsibility is the new norm. It sells like hot cakes among today’s aware consumers and is much sought after by most of the organisations to market themselves. The percentage of consumers who shift brands just because of their association with a social cause is as high as 87% and this preference is increasing at an alarming rate.

A good cause-marketing campaign always starts with the right association followed by a well-defined execution. The major benefits associated with these are good public relations and better consumer association with the brand. One of the best examples of cause-related marketing is the Live Strong Bracelet, which was Nike and Lance Armstrong Foundation’s brainchild to raise awareness about the cancer charity. This had a huge rub-off effect on Nike’s sales and put the brand on the most preferred brand list. The link for the same can be found here.

Another example closer to home is Johnson tile’s Red Ramp Project. This is a brilliant campaign that was targeted towards making public places disable friendly. The company positioned their tiles in a great way to help physically challenged people visit the beach. The emotional and functional blend built a lot of brand awareness for the company. The link can be found here.

There are three legs to any successful cause-related marketing campaign. First, the message associated with the campaign must be simple and inspiring. Dove’s real beauty campaign which carved out a completely different space in the consumer’s minds about women confidence and defying beauty stereotypes, or Tata Tea’s famous Jago Re campaign. These brands adopted very simple messages but ended up gaining a huge support from their consumer base.

Second is to transform the message into a great communication. Proper integration with the brand story works wonders and helps make these campaigns a success.

The third and the most important leg is to promote the campaign through the right medium. For example when Kellogg’s came up with their ‘Bade Sapno Ki Sahi Shuruwat’ campaign, to promote the concept of healthy breakfast among households they utilized every touch point with their consumers effectively. From leveraging the social media, active participation through pledges to performing on-site campaign execution they integrated every leg and made a very powerful statement through their marketing campaign. The link can be found here.

Cause-related marketing is an art to integrate the brand story with the adopted cause and weave a campaign that is targeted, honest and trustworthy. Brands have been shifting towards cause affiliations to establish brand relevance among the consumers’ minds and also to ensure the sustainability of the brand for future.