Cause Related Marketing and Sustainability for Brand Distinction

Cause-related marketing is one of the finer attributes of the retail business. This is not new news but supporting a cause or a charity reflects what a brand stands for. A brand today is so much more than the product itself. When I see that a retailer is donating a certain amount of the sale to a specific cause, it makes me feel better about spending the money. When a brand exhibits a passion for making a difference using its influence with its customers, the customer feels good about incorporating that brand into one’s sense of self. This is called cause-related marketing and is an essential tool for branding in our times.

Colin Kaepernick Takes a Knee

When Colin Kaepernick took a knee at a football game he essentially lost his career. And then Nike made him the face of their new campaign in 2018 (Creswell, Draper and Maheshwari 2018). This article from the New York Times also makes clear what a careful line cause advertising creates. An issue like Nike’s backing Kaepernick and his actions, are so in tune with Nike’s audience base and Nike’s brand philosophy. Taking a stance made Nike extra cool for supporting the action and Kaepernick’s message. This issue is very much aligned with the Nike brand.

These elements, the strategic partners, the customization, the support of worthy causes, all distinguish one brand from another as much as the merchandise and service do. These promotional themes should be carefully thought through as to seamlessly reflect the essence of the brand.

The Commitment Must Be Authentic

When incorporating a cause into your marketing efforts it is key that the relationship between the cause and the brand is clearly defined and that the planning of the promotion is meticulous and thoughtfully executed. The cause needs the emotional commitment from the brand to be significant. Incorporating the charity properly and transparently is essential.

The negative publicity of an ill-conceived fund-raising campaign can take a long time to overcome.

As mentioned throughout the book, every element added to the promotion whether graphic design or food for an event, needs to fit the image of the brand and the tastes of the audience. The ultimate objective is building the brand image and creating the desire to identify with the brand.

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