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Showing posts from March, 2009

Cause Marketing with Braille Marks

In a campaign reminiscent of the U.S. Post Office’s semipostal stamp campaign for the benefit of cancer research, the U.S. Mint is doing a cause campaign honoring Louis Braille and benefiting the National Federation for the Blind.

Starting last Thursday, March 26, you can purchase specially minted coins bearing the likeness of Frenchman Louis Braille and in memory of his bicentennial. Only 400,000 coins will be minted and they can not be ordered after Dec. 31, 2009. In addition to being minted in a limited quantity, the coins will be the first ever from the U.S. Mint to feature readable Braille on them.

The NFB anticipates raising as much as $8 million for the campaign, which will be used be used to advance Braille education for the blind in the following ways:
Increase access to Braille instruction and reading materials Expand Braille mentoring, reading-readiness and outreach programs Require national certification in literary Braille among all special education teachers Advance the us…

Fisher-Price Wildlife Conservation Society Cause Marketing

Research and experience clearly demonstrate that one of the greatest determinants of success in a cause marketing campaign is the fit between the cause and sponsor.
But what does ‘fit’ mean?
If you’re a book publisher can you only work with literacy charities? If you make food, can you only partner with hunger charities? If you sell computers can you only work with schools?
And what if you make Twitter apps but want to conduct cause marketing, who do you partner with?
These and other questions came to me when I say this campaign from Fisher-Price benefiting the Wildlife Conservation Society, which I saw advertised in the Jan 2009 issue of Parenting magazine. Infant and baby toymaker Fisher-Price… started in 1930 in the fore-throes of the Great Depression, by the way…has been owned by Mattel since 1997.
Fisher-Price offers a whole collection of wild animal-themed baby and infant toys it calls Precious Planet. This isn’t transactional cause marketing. Rather Fisher-Price will make a donatio…

Cause Marketing for Good Bunnies

In the States it’s common to see promotions centered around various holidays; Father’s Day, St. Patrick’s, Halloween, the Super Bowl, etc.

According to National Retail Federation, the biggest holidays for retail sales are: the winter holidays (i.e.Christmas/Thanksgiving) by a country mile, back to school, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, followed closely by Easter.

Even though Easter falls three weeks later in 2009 than 2008… thereby allowing retailers to gear-up… Easter sales are projected to be off 14 percent as Americans economize during the recession.

So what to do if your company's annual sales rely heavily on sales during the Easter holiday?

Lindt, the Swiss chocolatier has partnered with Autism Speaks, an advocacy group, in a cute if slightly miserly cause marketing campaign.

When you buy a Lindt chocolate golden bunny between March 12 and April 12, Lindt will donate $0.10 cents to Autism Speaks, up to $100,000. You can also buy toy bunny ears, also benefiting Autism Speaks, for $…

Environmental Cause Marketing in Six Words

More cause marketing in six words, this time from Kelly Stettner at the environmental charity Black River Action Team in Vermont.

I am having way too much fun trying to do’s like haiku -- distilling my message into concentrated nuggets that really sing! So far, this is my favorite:

'Discover, play, donate. It’s your river.'

Black River Action Team (BRAT)
45 Coolidge Road
Springfield, VT 05156

~Making ripples on the Black River since 2000! ~

Seven Tips for Businesses… Large and Small… When Employing the Techniques of Cause Marketing

Faithful readers:

Waiting for your computer to return from the shop after a motherboard-ectomy is a little like waiting at the hospital for a baby to come…it can’t get here soon enough! But the computer doctors are telling me no later than Saturday!

In the meantime, I’m reprinting a column I wrote for the Salt Lake Enterprise, the local weekly business newspaper, and which was published Monday, March 16, 2009.

The headlines tell the story in brief:
“American Red Cross running low on corporate donations” –ABC4, Feb. 16, 2009“Donations way down at charitable organizations” –KSL, Nov. 23, 2008“Big players scale back charitable donations” –Wall Street Journal, Nov. 25, 2008“Donations down; need up” –The Intelligencer, Nov. 30, 2008The recession has been a perfect storm for nonprofits, battering them with great service needs at a time when donations are markedly lower.

And corporate donations, which most years range from 4-6 percent of the total U.S. charitable giving according to Giving USA, a…

The Computer is in The Shop Edition of the Cause Marketing Blog

Faithful Readers:

My main computer is in the shop and I’m scrambling a little more than usual.

I saw a news item today from the Associated Press that showed that store brands are showing a meaningful and bottom-line important uptick in sales.

Key sentence…

"Kroger said 27 percent of its sales in its most recent quarter came from its
own brands and fueled most of the company’s overall grocery volume growth for
the year — a trend it expects to continue."So in honor of my computer I’m going to repost something on cause marketing and private label brands that originally appeared on November 11, 2008.

In the declining economy, people in the UK, the US and elsewhere are buying more ‘house brands.’Of course they are, you say. What could make more sense than to get the same-quality or nearly the same quality for a meaningful savings?

I don’t have a handy chart to demonstrate, but this is what always happens in bad economic times. When the economy dips, sales of cheaper house brands and gene…

More Cause Marketing in Six Words

Tuesday’s post/exercise Cause Marketing Summarized in Six Words has already drawn a response from Time To Talk, the cause campaign from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Faithful reader Debbie Kellogg writes:

Hi Paul,

This was a fun exercise! I got several folks here at the Partnership for a Drug-Free America to help brainstorm six words for our cause campaign, Time To Talk (

It is a surprise to many parents that they are the most powerful influence in a child’s life – greater than their peers, celebrities, musicians and event athletes. The
Partnership’s research shows that kids who consistently learn about the risks of
drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not.
Our cause platform, Time To Talk, encourages parents to talk to their kids by
providing helpful tools, tips and resources not only to start but to also
continue the conversation over the long haul.

Here is our

Time To Talk

You talk. Teens listen. Drug-free famil…

Cause Marketing Summarized in Six Words

Author and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki famously has his 10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint. It goes like this: When you’re making a pitch, your Powerpoint should have no more than 10 slides, take less than 20 minutes to present, and no font should be smaller than 30 points.In homage to Kawasaki, I’m going to suggest that you be able to sum up your cause marketing campaign in just six words.
Why six words? It’s enough to do the job, but not enough to obfuscate.
Here’s proof.
Last year this time Rachel Ferschleiser and Larry Smith released their book Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. They lead with a tale about Ernest Hemingway who was once challenged to write a book in six words. He responded: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
There’s an awful lot of pathos in those six words. But then we’re talking about Papa Hemingway (seen above), a literary legend who specialized in compact fiction.
Ferschleiser and Smith published many more of these evocative…

The Cause Marketing Blog, Now With Bright Orange Packaging!

Remember your marketing class in college when the professor would show examples of consumer packaged goods that would tout ‘all new packaging!’ as though it were a genuine benefit?
Well, over the last week or so the cause marketing blog has gone through a number of changes, courtesy of Charissa Wilson at Triple Latte Design. And while the colors are all-new, I think the improvements to the blog are more than skin-deep.
First off, the blog is in a three-column design, which I think is easier on the eyes. Alden Keene’s definition of cause marketing is right up in the masthead, where you also see a bridge; a graphical representation of cause marketing.
In the second column my contact information is front and center and we’ve added a RSS feed that finds and displays news and information with keywords like ‘cause marketing, ‘corporate social responsibility’ and ‘cause related marketing.’
At the top of the third column, on the far right side, is a feed of images of cause marketing campaigns. Ov…

Paul Jones of Alden Keene on Cause Marketing in Utah CEO Magazine

Hi Gang:
I was quoted at length in the current issue of Utah CEO Magazine on the topic of cause marketing in the story called Capitalists for Change.
Double kudos to the reporter Geoff Griffin, the writer. I must have given the poor devil 100 pages of reports, surveys and the like to sort through.   
You have to register to read the full article, but registration is free.

Cause Marketing Grab Bag

Assorted miscellanea today from the intersection of causes and commerce, marketing and business.
Out today’s Eco Bounty report. Because casts such a broad net, I find it must reading when I need to inspire my own ideas and thinking.

Also released today were the results of the third annual Nonprofit Employment Trends Survey which finds that 26 percent of the nonprofits surveyed expect to cut staff in 2009. Here’s a shocking thought; laid off nonprofit employees on the other side of the breadline.Adult contemporary/ jazz musician Anders Holst has a new charity single out called All About Soul. During March all proceeds for the sales of the single will benefit the New York affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Along a similar vein, a host of Brazilian musicians have put out a compilation called Dark Was the Night benefiting the Red Hot Organization, a HIV/AIDS charity.
Huggable American Idol runner-up David Archuleta is fronting an effort from Build-A…

MBA Student Headed for P&G in June Offers Her Services Until Then

Kind Readers:

A few months back I had an extended conversation about cause marketing with Supreet Kaur, then an MBA student at India’s prestigious Management Development Institute in Gurgaon. Well Supreet has finished her studies and is headed toward a marketing position at Proctor & Gamble in June. She offered her services to my company... Alden Keene... but I can’t use them in that time frame.  
Instead, I can endorse Supreet’s marketing skills, preparation and passion for cause marketing. For the right agency, nonprofit or company, Supreet would be a wonderful addition until she joins Proctor & Gamble in June. 

Contact her directly at supreet.86 @ gmail. com. If you’d like a copy of her resume, you can contact her or me.