Cause Marketing 102

Cause Marketing 102 |Find a Cause that Aligns with Your Brand Values

Last week we learned WHY cause marketing is something brands need to pay attention to if they are interested in attracting Gen Z’s. This week we are going to show you HOW to find the causes that are best suited for your brand.

The most important part of picking a cause it to choose an endemic fit that represents your brand and brand values. 

This is important because if you are going to use the cause you support in your marketing you need to:

(a) actually support it with strong actions we will touch on later in this course

(b) it needs to make sense to your consumer so it doesn’t come off as exploitative

wingsforlifeOften times a company will choose a cause that they care a lot about, but does not embody their brand. An example is Red Bull, who started Wings For Life dedicated to spinal cord injury relief. While this cause is noble, it’s personal to the company founder and isn’t tied with their brand values. As an action sports and extreme lifestyle energy drink these two values don’t click to an outsider and would be hard to follow in a marketing campaign. Now, Red Bull is shifting to empower through action sports, through Amaphiko, which will focus more on empowering communities through sports, which makes for a much more natural brand fit.

Another hypothetical example is a jewelry company that gives 10% of their proceeds to cancer research. Again, this is an amazing cause, but not something that clicks when you think of the product.

Instead, think of the jewelry company that supports women collectives in the communities where they make their jewelry. Your customer will put it together that you outsource your jewelry from a group of women in Guatemala and want to support their economic well-being beyond the production funds you are paying them.

The rule of thumb: if you can’t explain your product and cause in an elevator pitch, it will get lost.

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 4.14.46 PMA good example of this is State Bags — for every bag sold, a fully packed bag is donated to an American child in need. This is an easy give-back initiative for a consumer to understand, and for the brand to use in their marketing material in an authentic way, that does not take advantage of the cause they support.

Here’s some through starters for how to match your brand with a cause.

  • PetCo = product donations to animal shelters annualy
  • Patagonia = worn, wear, recycle to reduce waste & protect environment
  • Athleta = supports programs directly impacting the lives of the majority-female workers creating its apparel

Start looking into orgs that support the cause your brand cares about, and if you need help, contact us for access to our non-profit matching database.

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