This is the Hanukkah and Christmas season. It’s a time of great spiritual meaning.
For Jews, it is a time to celebrate religious freedom and the survival of the Jewish people.
For Christians, it is a time to rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ.
For retailers, this is economically a make or break season.
Now, there is stunning news concerning nonprofit/for-profit partnerships. Cause-related marketing is something that can significantly help both nonprofit organizations and their for-profit partners more than ever before.
According to a study from Cone Communications, a public relations and marketing agency specializing in cause branding and corporate responsibility, an overwhelming 94 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands, about equal in price and quality, to one that supports a social issue. This purchase behavior is at an all-time high since Cone first began measuring consumer purchase trends in 1993, says Craig Bida, Cone’s Executive Vice President of Cause Branding and Nonprofit Marketing.
“Over the years, consumers have been increasingly expecting companies to support social causes. Now, we’re seeing Americans demand companies address issues by speaking with their wallets,” said Bida.
Cone’s research also shows that:
- 62 percent of consumers say they already have purchased a cause-related product in the past year.
- 81 percent of consumers say they would donate to a charity supported by a company they trust, if given the opportunity. In other words, the endorsement factor works both ways.
- 70 percent of consumers say they have already made a donation in the past year.
“Americans expect companies to address issues that affect the quality of life locally and advance economic development, such as Starbucks’ Create Jobs for USA campaign,” said Bida. “This campaign has differentiated Starbucks from the competition and given it an edge to communicating brand values during the holidays and amid a struggling economy.”
“For companies, the message is clear,” continued Bida, “with consumer expectations higher than ever, it is critical for brands to support causes and demonstrate meaningful impact on important social issues.”
For nonprofit organizations, entering into a cause-related marketing relationship can generate immediate corporate cash, plenty of publicity, and increased individual donations. However, for such relationships to be successful, nonprofit organizations must be true to their brands. When selecting a for-profit partner, brand alignment is essential. For example, you would never expect the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to establish a cause-related marketing relationship with chicken purveyor Purdue.
If there is brand alignment and a carefully constructed agreement, a win-win relationship can be created. The for-profit partner will benefit as indicated in the Cone study. The nonprofit partner will also benefit from the corporate support, increased public exposure, and increased individual giving.
For 2012, consider how cause-related marketing can help your organization. Take the time to carefully explore your options. Then, next year at this time, you may have another cause for celebration.
I wish you and yours a happy Hanukkah and merry Christmas!
That’s what Michael Rosen says … What do you say?
[Publisher’s Note: This post was inspired from a Tweet received from Ian M. Adair (@IanMAdair). I thank him for the good information and inspiration.]