Most cause marketing faces the consumer. You can imagine why. The lady who buys, say, printer paper where you work almost certainly is under the obligation to find the best price she can. A pink ribbon on a box of paper almost certainly is unmoving to corporate purchasing types if it also carries a premium price or if it doesn’t meet spec.
But business to business cause marketing does take place, even if it’s not common. This is my 890th post, and in nearly six years I’ve mentioned business to business cause marketing less than a dozen times.
Add one more.
AmpliVox, an Illinois company which makes and sells portable sound systems and lecterns, does a form of non-transactional cause marketing to benefit the fights against both breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Not surprisingly perhaps, this came about when the human element was reintroduced to the B2B equation; AmpliVox’s owner, Don Roth, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. Listen for Roth’s part of the story when you watch the video on the left.
Shortly after his diagnosis Roth and his team developed two new versions of its polyurethane Pinnacle lectern, one in pink for breast cancer awareness and one in blue for prostate cancer awareness. AmpliVox donates the appropriately-colored podiums… which have handles and casters for easy moving… to every prostate or breast cancer group or event. AmpliVox covers all costs including shipping. The donation is for the lectern only. Any added microphones, amps, speakers or graphics would be an additional cost to the organization.
Roth says why AmpliVox did this, but is there also a business case to be made for this donation? I think there is.
First of all, we can safely assume that AmpliVox has driven out all the costs it can from making and shipping its pink and blue podiums. But even if it’s cheap for AmpliVox to produce, it isn’t no cost.
The main reason, it seems to me is that it gives AmpliVox a way to distinguish itself from competitors. And, it gives the company and its employees an ongoing story to tell... I learned about AmpliVox’s pink podiums at the bottom of a press release in the “About AmpliVox” paragraph at the bottom of the release. The release was about an unrelated product.
If these seem like small advantages remember that Big Ass Fans, the company that makes super-sized ceiling fans mainly for industrial use, was doing just fine, but no better than that under its original name, HVLS Fan Company. The name change brought Big Ass Fans out of obscurity. (With its evocative name and donkey mascot, Big Ass Fans is now also an active merchandiser of its brand. Profits from its ‘gear’ store benefit Habitat for Humanity, local food banks in Lexington, Kentucky, veteran’s organizations and the Longhopes Donkey Shelter).
Providing pink and blue podiums gratis could certainly do the same for AmpliVox.