Cause Works.Look for Consumer Concerns not insights. And look after Consumer concerns.
If you have ever purchased something and felt a little better about it because it had a little pink ribbon on it and awareness note on breast cancer, you probably are a benefactor of a cause marketing campaign. All things being equal, product quality, service, brand infrastructure, price points, sku’s target audience understanding, media platforms…keeps pushing me to think what will be the next frontier for Brand reputation. During conversations with my fraternity when I submit the idea of cause and studies that give evidence of early success. I am faced with a range of feedback from indulgence, to argument,to a defensive response that it’ll not work in our country given the wretched economy where sovereignty belongs to multiple gods and mindless contributions are done in the name of religion. But being a firm believer I will continue to rally around my pointthat Brands can build entire sector of social change. If we’re sharing our information out loud and on purpose, change can happen, isn’t it?
I’d like to reaffirm my point that Cause Marketing will play a critical role for Indian Brands (already happened internationally). I see this as one of the next important phase in cause marketing, whereorganisations look beyond transactional partnerships and instead align their brands with capacity building for betterment of society. Cause will make that serious difference to brands provided the Brand Owners (CEO,CMO,GBM…) give up a mindset that Cause is charity. ‘Arrehyaarkuchkardoh, kuch donation dehdoh, let us look good’ attitude needs to change.
So let me jog backwards to clarify that Cause is NOT Charity. Charity is generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless, something given to a person or persons in need. It evokes a benevolent feeling, for the giver/donor especially toward those in need or indisfavour. And the receiver is expectedly humbled. This benevolent feeling has an Indian word depicting the essence of philanthropy/charity – ‘daan’. Giving or donatingact out of religion or altruistic purpose with no expectation in return in some cases.
So ladies and gentlemen please understand and appreciate that Cause is not DAAN.Cause is about bringing sustainable social change through conscious contributions from the customer purchases whilst earning goodwill,loyalty and profit. The brand needs to contribute more than just dollars to relate to the cause. The underlying philosophy is sustained,continuous conscious contribution. And the expectation is to earn goodwill,loyalty and profit. All three are measurable.
The Emerging Dimensions Of Cause Marketing
Brands need to go beyond consumerism and take a hard look at the brand model we are all familiar with- Proposition-Product+Price-Target-trial-repeat trial-MOUB model , we ned to value add and enhance this model .For this we will need to go back to our basics for the inception of a new model that starts with what does the brand stand for,amongst whom, when, where &how. I will be sharing the Brand–Cause model in my next blog.