Corporate Social Responsibility is a voluntary initiative on the part of a business to contribute to a better society and a greener and cleaner environment. Cause Related Marketing on the other hand is a commercial activity by which businesses and charities form a partnership with each other to market an image, product or service for mutual benefit. It is a marketing tool used to help address the social issues of the day, through providing resources and funding, whilst at the same time addressing important business objectives.
Your Stakeholders’ Expectations
Your stakeholders expect that your company will behave ethically
Your business is expected to contribute to economic development
Your business to expected to improve the quality of life of its workforce and their families
Your business is expected to play an active part in the improvement of the society
Increase in customer retention and loyalty.
People love to be associated with a brand that does good in this community. When your brand associates itself with a worthy cause and uses its product or service to support that cause through its marketing efforts, your company is likely to benefit through increased loyalty.
Winning new business through good will
Your company can gain new business because of good will and the benefits associated with cause related marketing. For example, a soft drinks manufacturing company can support a clean environment by encouraging customers to bring back plastic bottles and paying those customers a token fee for the empty plastics will encourage customer to buy its products because they have something to gain other that the drink.
Enhanced relationships with stakeholders
After all you are killing two birds with one stone so your shareholders will love you and your community will thank you.
Everybody loves a good story. So whether your product or service is supporting breast cancer by advertising for women to wear pink on a particular day, or HIV /AIDs through its branded radio program , you will be in the limelight to receive free good coverage from the media.
Access to funding opportunities
Companies that support worthy causes generally find that other companies will join in. This increases the support that the worthy cause generates and this may also influence donors to fund the projects .
Cause Related Marketing last longer that donations
You are able to stretch your marketing campaign for as long as you want to focus on that particulate societal need or issue. This means that for as long as your product or problem exist, your brand could potentially be associated with that cause and the benefits of supporting the cause.
Your company will gain first mover advantage when it identifies itself with and uses its marketing innovation and marketing muscle to create awareness or to raise funds for a worthy project. You will provide your staff and executives who are seen in the community implementing your program with industry influencers status as they are able to speak about the problem and also appeal to their colleague companies to join the campaign.
Differentiating yourself from your competitors
Cause related marketing enables your brand to differentiate itself from its competitors. Your product or services becomes more than a product as your brand is associated with more than just its product brand image but with an issue bigger that itself.
The Community rallies behind your brand and the cause
When you use your brand to bring awareness to a cause or to raise funding for a needy situation, or to enable a community to help themselves, you forge a relationship with your community that is beneficial to your brand.
- Cadbury Limited and Save the Children raised funds for Save the Children and focused community programmes to the benefit of Cadbury’s corporate image.
- Tesco’s ‘Free Computers for Schools’ is based on parents and friends of schools collecting vouchers in proportion to the amount of money they spend in Tesco stores and giving these vouchers to their schools to be redeemed for computers from Tesco.
- The partnership of Yoplait’s “Save Lids to Save Lives” campaign in support of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure for Cancer. The company packages specific products with a pink lid that consumers turn in, and in turn Yoplait donates 10 cents for each lid brought back.
- American Heart Association’s stamp of approval on Cheerios, the popular breakfast cereal. The American Heart food certification program grants use of its “Heart Check” icon and name to dozens of cereals and juices meaning that product meets the Associations’ low-fat, low- cholesterol standards.
- Singapore Airlines launched a cause marketing campaign attracting over 35 million unique visitors across 23 countries to bring awareness to Doctors Without Borders. With the launch of the world’s first A380, Singapore Airlines—with the assistance of Vonality Inc—launched an online auction for all seats on the historic first flight all in support of charity.
- Product Red is an example of one the largest cause-related marketing campaigns to date given the number of companies and organizations involved as participants as well as its reach worldwide. It is also an example of a cause marketing campaign that is also a brand on its own. Product Red was created to support The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria (aka “The Global Fund”) and includes companies such as Apple Computer, Motorola, Giorgio Armani, and The Gap as participants.
- Since 1998 the UK based AquAid Water Coolers has been donating 5.5% of turnover to supply clean drinking water to people in Africa via the two charities Christian Aid and Pump Aid. To date they have donated more than £5,000,000 and their business success has led to a number of their competitors setting up other schemes to bring water to people without water in the Third World.
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