We see it everywhere. Yoplait’s commitment to breast cancer research. Dasani’s dedication to water conservation. Dove’s devotion to positive self-image. Every week, I feel like I hear about a new cause initiative. Brands have increasingly recognized the importance of giving back to their communities, and this has, without a doubt, contributed to a crowded environment of causes galore. Traditionally in marketing, one might say that when a field is over-saturated, messages can become blurry. But fortunately, when it comes to cause marketing, a new study released by Cone says otherwise.
Take a look at these stats. 83% of consumers want more of the products, services and retailers they use to benefit causes. 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about, and 80% are likely to switch brands, similar in price and quality, to one that supports a cause. These numbers are huge! Just because there are a lot of companies-with-causes out there, consumers are not tired of hearing about them. The reality is just the opposite. Consumers want to purchase goods and services from companies they can feel good about.
So how does this relate to social marketing anyways? Let’s look at Gatorade. Gatorade is a marketed sports drink that aims to help athletes stay hydrated to reach their top potential. Now let’s look at NFL PLAY 60, a social marketing program of the National Football League that urges Americans to “play” 60 minutes a day, in attempt to combat the obesity epidemic among us. As many of us know, Gatorade recently partnered with NFL PLAY 60 by sponsoring a Junior Training designed to teach kids football-related skills in a non-contact environment. Through this program, coaches and volunteers convey the importance of being active for 60 minutes every. Based on study data mentioned above, Gatorade “wins” because consumers are likely to place high value and priority on their brand and NFL PLAY 60 also “wins” because more people are reached with health-messaging on an individual basis through Gatorade’s programming.
One more example for you to think about—the MAC Aids Fund. MAC Cosmetics is a powerful brand in the fight against AIDS. 100% of proceeds from their Viva Glam lip stick and lip gloss goes toward helping men, women, and kids everywhere affected by HIV/AIDS. MAC additionally partners with a number of social marketing grant programs aimed to change perceptions and stereotypes of people living with AIDS. These programs additionally encourage citizens to become educated around the issue and get involved. MAC has become a go-to name in cosmetics, and as a woman, I purchase cosmetics from MAC, even though they are more costly than, say, another brand not affiliated with a cause I care about. While women all over are thinking like me here (as the Cone study suggests), HIV/AIDS has really come to the forefront of issues we, as Americans and world citizens, need to address.
With the crossings of causes, behavior change, social marketing, corporate marketing, and public relations coming together so often these days, it is great to know from a human perspective that consumers still want to “do good” and play individual roles in larger cause initiatives.