When consumers walk into local, independently-owned coffee shops, or even any of the thousands of Starbucks nationwide, they may notice a logo boasting “Fair Trade Certified Coffee.” Simply put, a coffee bean that is certified by Fair Trade USA is one that was farmed and produced in safe working environments, by farmers that are paid a sustainable wage and is planted and harvested using environmentally conscious methods. For a coffee shop’s management, the choice to inform the public that they use Fair Trade coffee is a blend of the ownership’s personal morals and a strategic marketing plan to let customers know that they, as a business, are taking their social responsibility seriously. It is a plan that will boost sales while simultaneously striving to better the world. This marketing model is known as Corporate Citizenship, Corporate Social Responsibility or, as we will refer to it, Cause Marketing.
While Cause Marketing in coffee is just one tangible example, every organization can implement in into their own brand strategy – even in the auto industry. In fact, the month of October is the perfect opportunity to jumpstart a Cause Marketing plan, because October is the internationally-recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a campaign that was launched in 1985 by the American Cancer Society to spread awareness of the disease and raise funding for research. Today, Breast Cancer continues to be the most common and deadliest form of Cancer among American women. According to the American Cancer Society, 1-in-8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their lifetime, and raising awareness to catch early signs of the disease is the main goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Companies like yours can stand in solidarity with Breast Cancer Survivors and those who are still fighting the disease by integrating social media campaigns, sales events, branding strategies and more with Breast Cancer Awareness Month related content.
Often, many of these listed factors of marketing (social media, events, logos, etc.) will all work together in one campaign. For example, if your organization decided to do an event around Breast Cancer Awareness Month to both fundraise for the cause and drive engagement to your brand or brick-and-mortar site, there are various marketing strategies that would go into this event beyond just the event planning.
Utilizing social media, you may change your logos to incorporate the iconic Breast Cancer pink Ribbon. Integrating a non-profit’s brand with your own, with the appropriate clearance, is a simple and effective way to promote solidarity. An organization that, year after year, promotes impressive cause marketing during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the NFL. From changing their social media logos, painting a giant pink ribbon on the field during prime-time games, giving teams pink apparel to wear before and during games, the NFL stirs up a ton of awareness for the cause – all utilizing the pink branded ribbon.
At an event, you can utilize social media features like hashtags and geofilters to drive engagement from attendees. Encourage clients and customers that attend an event to use predetermined hashtags, check out geofilters on snapchat and remind them to reshare your posts about the cause.
In today’s world of the ultra-involved and curious consumer, companies have no option but to be socially responsible. In fact, it has been found that 70% of consumers want to know how the businesses they work with meet legal, ethical and economic responsibilities. It is up to you to show your customers the causes you care about – and boost your profits while you’re at it.