Everything is Pink— October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A month dedicated to creating awareness and providing support and information about this terrible disease. Many organizations show their support for this cause, through pink merchandising and pink ribbon-labeled products. Most claim to donate a percentage of their profits to Breast Cancer research.
But does using this non-profit to generate sales ever become unethical? Yes, in some cases it can— there is a fine line between cause marketing, and using NBCAM and/or other non-profits as a main source to generate sales. Listed below are some helpful tips for companies on how to support causes, without compromising your moral intentions.
1. Be sure that the cause you are supporting is important to you. You want to spend your time and resources promoting something that you believe in. By focusing on a cause that has personal significance, you keep things both truthful and meaningful, and can work together with your cause partner to gain the best results.
2. Keep everything simple. You want to promote one direct cause. Keeping things simple will make it easier for your consumers to understand your goals and participate in reaching them. This also creates a clear line of communication between your company and cause partner.
3. Make sure that the cause works with your brand. When choosing a cause, it is important that you do your research and understand what you are supporting, and how it relates to your brand. For example, you don’t see many tobacco companies partnering with the American Cancer Society- because that would not make sense. You want to be truthful with your consumers— by supporting a cause that relates to your company.
4. Employee involvement. Involve your employees when deciding on a non-profit organization that you wish to support. By increasing employee interaction, you will increase employee commitment and passion towards the cause.
5. Connect with your consumers. Your consumers must support the cause that you opt to support. Choosing a non-profit that is significant to them is what generates sales and donations. Be sure that the cause you promote fits your target demographic. Remember that consumers are ultimately the ones that will support your cause partner, thus it is important that the cause receives an honest percentage of the profits.
Finally, choose a non-profit that you know will be committed to success as much as you are.
What companies are doing a great job of cause marketing? Leave me a note in the comments section.