Marketing for a cause can have an immediate effect on consumer sentiment, even going as far as pushing consumers to pick one brand over another. This type of “cause-to-close” marketing improves brand loyalty by enabling a following to rally around the brand’s cause and adopt it as their own. As brands become more aligned to their target demographics through the saturation of social media, “Cause Marketing,” the type of marketing which focuses on promoting acts of doing good, has had a great impact on our society.
Cause sponsorship hit $1.85 billion in 2014. In such a crowded industry, it’s imperative for brands to choose a cause that is close to them, something they really care about. Otherwise, consumers can see through them, a scenario that may be detrimental to both the brand and the cause. These three brands are examples of Cause Marketing done right.
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program has provided over $42 million to more than 9,600 schools across the country. The locally-sourced, grant-giving foundation is now in its 10th year of helping to better schools and communities. From a marketing standpoint, the foundation doesn’t do much to promote the $5 million they give away each year. Instead, the foundation relies on the winning recipients of the grant money to promote their own causes, with the Lowe’s brand taking a back seat.
According to the foundation’s website, “… We believe community involvement extends beyond the boundaries of the traditional retail setting. Whether it’s helping improve neighborhood schools, assisting with natural disaster recovery or taking an active role in programs that make our neighborhoods better places to live, we are committed to helping our neighbors through alliances with well-respected organizations.”
Midas Drives Out Hunger
The face of hunger is often misunderstood, affecting people of all age, in all places around the world. There are nearly 20 million children in the United States that struggle with hunger and may not know where their next meal is coming from. With 1 in 8 people relying on food banks, there is often a demand that requires supplemental efforts of the community.
During the Midas “Drive Out Hunger” campaign, a Midas truck drove across the country, donating a meal for every mile driven. From June 9th to July 17, they donated more than 800,000 meals, traveling 800,000 miles in 40 days. Along the way, the “Drive Out Hunger” initiative utilized grassroot efforts such as social media and experiential campaigns to raise awareness and generate support for hunger relief.
“At a local level, Drive Out Hunger comes to life.”
Locally, the support was provided by hundreds of Midas dealers across the United States who turned the lobbies of their shops into rallying points for food collection. Many of the local Midas shops were operating their own awareness campaigns, including volunteer outings and generating donations of food or funds. For nearly a year, the shops have donated $1 to local food banks for every oil change they’ve done, paired with food drives, volunteer outings and seasonal initiatives. Anyone who walked away with a sense of the deep commitment that Midas has made to hunger relief in its communities.
UPS Brightens up the Holidays
Last year, UPS unveiled “Your Wishes Delivered” a campaign that aimed to give back around the holiday season. The crux of the campaign engagement relied on social media, where the audience was encouraged to make a wish while using the hashtag “#WishesDelivered.” For every mention of this hashtag, UPS donated $1 to charity. This type of promotion can have a rippling effect for the brand, promoting even more engagement.
Susan Rosenberg, director of public relations for UPS, says “[Customers] see our drivers in familiar brown trucks in their neighborhoods more at the holidays and I think there’s a natural affinity at this time of year for our drivers because they are shipping holiday gifts.”
The “Your Wishes Delivered” campaign gives back to the community, which in turn, builds trust in the brand around the holidays — a crucial time for a shipping company.