Newman’s Own is a prominent example, but I came across the expression on the website for PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics.
We all know the story of Newman’s Own. Paul Newman and his friend, author A.E. Hotchner whipped up a batch of salad dressing and sold it to neighbors. It was an instant and unlikely success… as a funny little slide show on the company website explains… that led to an extensive food product line. Since 1982 Newman’s Own has given more than $200 million to charity.
According to its website, PeaceKeeper has set a very similar goal for itself.
PeaceKeeper sells a line of mineral makeup including lipstick, lip gloss, lip balm, and nail polish. The products, PeaceKeeper tells us, are made without a long list of harmful (usually artificial) chemicals. They aren’t tested on animals, and the ingredients aren’t sourced from companies that use slave labor, or pay unfair wages.
PeaceKeeper also endeavors to follow the ethical standards ‘Yamas’ and ‘Niyamas’ as practiced by Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The website defines those standards as “truthfulness, non-violence and non-stealing.”
PeaceKeeper isn’t yet profitable. However, as their website points out, they’re already active givers:
“PeaceKeeper has given one half of one percent of its gross revenues to
urgent human rights issues each year since it has launched and will continue to
do so until profitable. In addition to this, we give a percentage of sales from
the UNIFEM (5% or US$.80), V-Day (5% or US$.80) and Eternal Equity Lip Gloss
(US$1.00) to charity. We also give all proceeds from our Million Kisses Campaign
to charity. To date, we have given over $55,000 in cash donations and $30,000 in
products to women-focused non-profits for their silent auctions or VIP events.”
All of this has led to good publicity in women’s media for PeaceKeeper.
There are other things that I haven’t mentioned, but suffice it to say that PeaceKeeper touches a lot of buttons.
Here’s one for instance, you can get some of PeaceKeepers products without carmine, a natural red die made from insects. Carmine is all-natural, but it isn’t Kosher or Halal, and some vegans won’t use it for ethical reasons.
However, I won’t say PeaceKeeper touches on too many hot-buttons. Nowadays when you make the decision to be non-violent, you’ve almost certainly also decided to pay fair wages and to stand against slave labor. If you’ve decided to sell “non-toxic” products, you’ve also determined to make your products all natural, Halal, Kosher and vegan friendly. Each decision follows from the first.
If I had a suggestion for Peacekeeper it would be that they re-order their selling points, at least for the time being. It’s great that they’re an all benefits company. That’s their unique selling proposition (USP). And PeaceKeeper clearly recognizes this since their trademarked tagline is “Cause-Metics.”
But they’re not yet profitable, so leading with their all benefits approach is kind of a non-starter. Until they are profitable PeaceKeeper should move their cause marketing appeal a little further to the front so that it’s co-billed with their existing USP. Because right now their cause marketing efforts are actively generating charitable donations.
Moreover, I had to read darn near every page of their website in order to write this; their other selling points are spread everywhere. Hey, I’m all for people reading every single page of website. (In fact, I heartily invite everyone to read every page of my blog!) I just wouldn’t count on people doing it.
A simple fix would be to list all their competitive advantages in one place. I’m not necessarily suggesting that they change anything else about their site. Like the direct marketers say, “tell more, sell more.”
But it could only help PeaceKeeper to add one page that explains in bullet points (with links) all of PeaceKeeper’s competitive advantages.