Successfully marketing a business today is about so much more than just a good product. Today’s buyers are more socially conscious than ever. To successfully market to consumers, you need to show them that you care about the things that they care about.
Cause marketing is the practice of marketing your product, service, or business by partnering with a non-profit or incorporating charitable work into your business model. The partnership is mutually beneficial. The non-profit receives support and the business draws in an audience of people who care about the charity work that they do.
This support can look different depending on the business or non-profit. It usually means donating a portion of revenue, encouraging employees to volunteer, or providing goods and services to benefit a particular cause.
To do this successfully, businesses should choose a cause that their audience cares about, that relates to their business, and they need to stick with that cause for the foreseeable future. Working with the same cause for a long time will come across more genuine and will create a connection in the mind of your audience between your business and the cause that it supports.
This is particularly effective with younger audiences. Millennials tend to look for and support businesses that fight for something that they believe in. Previous generations are less inclined to change their spending habits for the sake of a charitable cause.
If you’re trying to draw in a younger audience, consider cause marketing. Millennials prefer to support businesses that create a positive social impact. The added benefits of a business working with a cause builds loyalty and trust from its audience.
By showing that you care about a cause that your audience cares about, you create a more personal bond with them. They’ll be less likely to go to a competitor because they’re not just loyal to you, they’re loyal to the charity as well.
Millennials may even be willing to overlook a higher price tag or fewer features because they feel good when they buy from you. 47% of millennials say that they would be willing to pay higher prices and 30% said they would purchase a lower quality item.
Partnering with a non-profit to increase awareness while marketing a product or service is very common today. One study showed that 47% of consumers buy from a brand that supports a cause on a monthly basis.
If you want to start implementing cause marketing for your business-to-consumer, B2C, or business-to-business, B2B, marketing strategy, here are a few things that you should consider so that you can maximize the impact on your sales:
- Choose a cause with a well-established background that you know you can trust. It will have a larger following to begin with, people will recognize the name immediately, and you’ll know that they use your donations well.
- Partner with non-profits that relate to your industry. For instance, if you’re in the healthcare industry, partner with a non-profit that provides medical supplies to areas that have just experienced a natural disaster. By partnering with a non-profit in your industry, your audience will trust that you are actually causing a positive impact because you know what you’re doing.
- Don’t just donate, serve. Donations aren’t enough anymore if you want to show your audience that you mean business. They want to see your employees serve. Sharing pictures, social media posts, or videos of your employees or other participants working for the cause will prove that you care and that you’re working hard to give back.
Let’s look at some examples.
As you can probably guess from the name, Tiesta Tea sells loose tea blends and premade tea beverages to drink on the go. Not only do they make delicious teas, but they also created the Tiesta Tea Foundation.
The Tiesta Tea Foundation focuses on “providing assistance to those facing economic hardship, increasing acceptance and awareness of those with special needs or disabilities, as well as providing clean, safe drinking water to villages of developing countries.”
They serve on a local, national, and global scale.
Their local campaign is called Spread the Warmth. Every year in January, volunteers hand out hot tea and Warmth Kits to the homeless in Chicago. The national campaign is a partnership with Extra Special Teas (EST). EST uses tea to encourage community and empower those with special needs. The international campaign is called the Living Well Project. This group was created by Tiesta Teas to dig wells for villages in Nigeria.
Kool8 sells some of the best insulated water bottles on the market in 2019. They also donate 20% of their profit to bring clean drinking water to underprivileged regions around the world.
This is a great example of partnering with a non-profit that is related to your business. Their audience will be reminded of the impact that they made with their purchase every time they use the Kool8 bottle.
SoapBox Soaps sells soap and other personal hygiene items. For every bar of soap purchased, they will donate a bar of soap to people in need in the U.S. and all over the world.
This, like Tiesta Tea, is a good example of donating and serving. They donate soap bars and other hygiene items, but they also fund research to end infectious diseases and send ambassadors to teach good hygiene.
Cause marketing is a trend that you can’t miss out on with a business-to-consumer strategy. It’s not only popular with millennials, but with today’s consumers as a whole. 87% of consumers say that they would switch to another brand selling the same product for the same price if the other brand was also supporting a cause that they believe in.
Cause marketing benefits everyone. Sure, businesses land more sales because of it, but the community directly benefits too. Social responsibility is a major priority right now, and that is reflected in the way that consumers use their money. It’s time to embrace it.