Break Free From Market Shares

‘Aam Aadmi’ has shown tremendous resilience of taking a lot in its stride. ‘Paisa kamana’ and being in the comfort zone is paramount: ‘Kabhi kabhi zameer ki awaz sadkon pe aajati hain’, for a few days and then back to hum doh hamare doh.’

Just like the ‘Aam Aadmi’, our brands are also lost in the incremental game of margins and market shares. Focusing too much on creating a ‘todu campaign’, as opposed to doing what’s right for the brand in the long run.

Can we go beyond consumer insights to consumer concerns? Go deeper and find out what upsets him, what he is passionate about, what brings a smile, what makes him share etc. And how can these concerns be nurtured to bring about a change? How do we make the consumer believe that he can be that catalyst for change? That he is not a tiny, ordinary speck on my excel sheet.

You are welcome to disagree, debate, be indifferent (for a while), ignore at your peril – but ‘Cause Marketing ‘ is here to stay and grow in a big way, especially in India.

So what is Cause Marketing ?

CSR?

No.

Mmmm..you mean buy one and give a rupee to charity ?

Nope.

Umm..Cause Marketingya boss’ wife’sfavourite charity?

No again.

Social responsibility? Social platform?

Okay, here goes. Cause Marketing is not Social Marketing. Neither is it Corporate Philanthropy.

Cause Marketing aligns your company or brand with a cause to generate business and social benefits. Notice the coming together of two mindsets: ‘Cause’ which is intrinsically selfless for a larger audienceand Marketing which selfishly drives the brand to achieve its business objectives of volumes, market shares etc. Cause is non-competitive. Marketing is competitive.

Marketers need to understand this and get their brands on board. Brands cannot look the other way when the community around the brand has a development agenda.

Brands that have understood this and have worked hard to marry the two by bringing the cause to its consumers, creating meaning for them and encouraging them to participate through its brands will reap dividends in the future.

Some notable examples: HaagenDaz –Save The Bees, Tide- Loads of Hope, Body Shop,Dove–Real Beauty , GE –Ecoimagination, WWF- Earth Hour, Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity, American Express – Statue of Liberty, Bono & Bobby Shriver – Product Red.

Brands have always been a part of my life and will continue to be so. I can rattle off names of brands that I have grown up with, shared with friends, whose jingles I still hum. And I alwayswant my brands to continue creating meaning in my life.

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