Skip to main content

Strategic Cause-Related Marketing

Luxury Goods from Monique Pean

While there are notable exceptions…General Mills comes to mind… companies generally employ the techniques of cause-related marketing tactically. But the methods of cause related marketing can also be woven into corporate strategy, as in the case of luxury goods maker Monique Pean.

Named for the eponymous designer and former investment banker, Monique Pean sells stunningly expensive jewelry in places like Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. The little bangle shown is made from 25,000 year old fossilized woolly mammoth ivory and recycled gold and goes for cool $14,000.

Here’s a partial list of the cause-related marketing and corporate social responsibility elements built into Monique Pean’s business model:
  • The ivory used is gathered by native Alaskans above the Artic Circle, much of which is newly visible courtesy of the retreating ice sheet. And since it's summer... the longest days of the year... the native Alaskans near the pole have plenty of daylight to collect ivory.
  • Pean uses recycled gold, conflict-free diamonds from Australia, and other precious materials that are “devastation free” and “sustainable.”
  • 10 percent of the profits from the Bering Collection goes to the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, which trains and educates indigenous people.
  • 50 percent of the proceeds from the Charity Water signature collection goes to Charity:Water, a New York City nonprofit with a mission to bring clean water to impoverished people.
  • The website contains multiple pages of pictures and text about both the water crisis and the ecological challenges faced by native Alaskans.
I have a few nits to pick about how the website features the causes. And I have my usual reservations about the “portion of the proceeds” language. But Monique Pean has baked cause-related marketing into her business strategy to an impressive degree.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…