Thought of sharing this interesting article on Brand Alignment that i came across  on Do give it a read.

Consumers are also citizens. As such they are interested in bettering their lives and their local communities. Your ad agency can harness that interest to improve a client’s reputation for doing good in the community through cause marketing.

A great benefit of working with smaller brands is that they serve local and regional communities… and when it comes to cause marketing, 83 percent of consumers favor local causes.

If you have small business clients not supporting local causes, research these businesses’ various audiences to identify local organizations or causes its customers already support. Then develop plans to help the company align with an appropriate cause. Twenty-first century consumers, especially Millennials, will support a business more if they know it is helping a cause they believe in. Convincing your clients to donate a portion of their proceeds in money or time to local causes may be the best marketing advice you can give them.

A Vet with a Heart
Cause marketing is often easier for smaller brands to do convincingly, because they can more believably pursue causes close to their hearts. Consumers can see how the brand’s goals and passions align with the appropriate cause. For example, my local vet, Friends Animal Hospital, sponsors a “Have Your Pet’s Photo Taken with Santa Day” to raise money to pay for health care for foster animals. The office also produces and sells a homemade calendar with photos of homeless animals they helped place, and holds an annual basket raffle to help pay for fosters’ medical bills and upkeep. I admire my vet’s office for supporting the welfare of all animals regardless of whether they have owners or not. I feel like I am taking my animals to a vet and facility that cares about animals, not to an uncaring corporation. It’s one of the reasons I have stuck with the same small vet practice for over 15 years.

A Flair for Style and Goodwill
The vet’s office uses fundraisers to support its cause, but small businesses are not limited to that model. A local spa, The Bell Tower, is one of the main sponsors for the annual Goodwill Runway Show. Stylists provide hair and make-up services and style the outfits models wear during the show. The runway show is a huge social event and fundraiser for Goodwill. By donating their time and skills, The Bell Tower’s stylists not only give back to the local community in a meaningful way, but are perceived as caring and generous community benefactors.

Proceeds for Good
Some small companies may prefer transactional cause marketing. Rose Metal Cards, founded by Beatrice Marinescu, herself a former victim of abuse, donates two percent of the profits from all cards sold to Berks Women in Crisis, the area’s leading support organization for women suffering from physical and sexual abuse. Bachman Company, a local snack food producer, gives five percent of the sales of specially-shaped puzzle pretzels and new gluten-free puzzle pretzels to Autism Speaks; the puzzle is the nationally recognized symbol for autism awareness. Each bag of pretzel carries the Autism Speaks symbol and an announcement of Bachman’s support of the charity.

I personally feel good purchasing from companies that support causes I care about. I may not always have the money to donate to all the causes I would like to, but as a consumer, I know that some of my money is going to businesses that will pass it on to worthwhile causes.

In today’s world, many consumers feel as I do. Businesses that help the community are perceived as better for the community. Customers who want to see their communities thrive will support them. If you want to do your small business clients a huge favor, encourage them to align themselves with causes they believe in and then go promote those alliances. It will make the business, consumers and community feel better. And the goodwill arising from their cause marketing efforts will pay back in increased awareness, loyalty and sales.

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