Cause Marketing With Trade Groups

It’s not clear to me that this is a trend, but I’ve seen my first cause marketing campaign with a trade group.

The campaign is a tree planting effort from Odwalla, the juice company, and the trade group called the National Association of State Park Directors.

It launches in May.

In the United States, a trade group or trade association is a probably a nonprofit (although not necessarily a charity) with a mission to further the interests of a particular industry.

The United States has not only 58 magnificent National Parks (along with more than 300 other ‘units’ managed by the National Park Service)… but it is also home to another 6,000 park units, managed by the individual states.

(Among them the stunning Goblin Valley State Park, here in my home state of Utah).

The directors of those state park systems can join the National Association of State Park Directors.

Beginning in May, Brandweek reports, Odwalla will launch a promotion meant to plant $200,000 worth of trees in those state parks.

I have no special knowledge of this relationship, but I can make some educated guesses about how Odwalla has ended up supporting a trade group.

Odwalla probably wanted to do a tree planting effort, but didn’t want to narrow its appeal by concentrating solely on either the Arbor Day Foundation or the National Parks, more than 70 percent of which are concentrated in the Western half of the United States.

Or, it could be that the entry price for sponsorship at the National Park Foundation or the Arbor Day Foundation was too high.

Normally cause marketing with a trade group wouldn’t make sense because most are too inward facing. Most cause marketing faces the consumer.

But the National Association of State Park Directors does have an element that faces consumers; an informational and advocacy website called They even offer branded merchandise there.

Like I said, it’s too soon to graph a trend line. But certain kinds of trade groups are now officially in play as potential cause marketing partners.

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