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Showing posts from November, 2009

Followup: Injecting Emotion into Your Cause Marketing

On October 23, I posted about Ulta's Windows of Love campaign for the Breast Cancer Reseaerch Foundation.

Earlier this week Ulta sent out this recap email to supporters.

Thanks to Kate L. for sharing!

Does Cause Marketing Scale?

We see evidence of big cause marketing all the time.

You know, cause marketing so massive… like the Red campaign or Boxtops for Education… that it seems to create its own gravity.

Plainly, when properly designed, cause marketing scales up very well, thank you very much.

But what about the little guys? Does cause marketing scale down as well as up?

Here’s why this is an important question. In the States small businesses… generally companies with 500 or fewer employees… represent 99 percent of all businesses that have employees, and over the last 15 years, small businesses have generated 64 percent of all new jobs.

Small business is also really dynamic. Small businesses rise and fail quickly in round after round of Schumpeter-style ‘creative destruction.’

Likewise, most 501(c)(3) nonprofit charities in the United States are small. There’s only one American Red Cross with its $4 billion budget, but at least 1 million smaller charities.

Is cause marketing only for the top one percent of causes a…

Asymmetry in Cause Marketing

Research shows that when there is asymmetry in cause marketing between the sponsors and the cause, the entity that gains the most from the relationship is the smaller brand.

But there’s an asymmetry continuum of sorts.

For instance, when Yoplait yogurt and Susan G. Komen for the Cure link up, the brands which are arguably equivalent in their respective spheres, the benefits confer symmetrically.

Same when Weight Watchers and Share Our Strength tie in together.

So what happens when l’Oreal hooks up with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, as it did earlier this year with a cosmetics bag campaign? Or like Jiffy Lube does in my home state of Utah, when it does a holiday season cause marketing campaign benefiting the Utah Food Bank?

In such cases, the causes benefit disproportionately thanks to their association with the better known brands.

Does the obverse hold true? That is, can a sponsor benefit asymmetrically from an association with a better-known nonprofit brand?

Yes it can. For instance, t…