Skip to main content

Terrific Paper Icon Cause Marketing from Whole Foods

We’ve all seen paper icons that sell for $1. A few sell for $5 and fewer still for $10. But how’s this for ambition from Whole Foods Market? The top listed price for their paper icon is $180.

Talk about ‘whole paycheck!’

Sorry that was a cheap (and irresistible) shot at Whole Foods which has turned out a very well-thought out and well-executed paper icon campaign. Probably the best one I’ve seen in the last five years.

The campaign benefits the microcredit effort of Whole Foods’ Whole Planet Foundation. The Foundation partners with microfinace partners in 29 countries in the developing world, with an emphasis on regions that supply product to Whole Foods. By design most of the microenterprise loans go to women.

The fit, therefore, is very clear. Microfinance when coupled with microenterprise, has a good success record at lifting people out of poverty worldwide even if it isn’t a panacea, and remains widely respected in America.

The icon uses both sides, which I always recommend. In the copy on the back they use the persuasive principle of ‘social proof’ by reporting that customers have given more than $6 million in the past to the campaign, while Team Members (employees) have donated $2 million and vendors another $1.2 million.

Too bad the social proof is relegated to the back, where people are likely to see it only after they’ve already purchased the icon. It would be a simple matter to use the social proof as the headline and call to action; “Join the six million Whole Food shoppers who have already donated…”

I like that the icon tells a story and it depicts people who are being benefited, also a smart choice. They could have closed the loop by saying that the loans have helped Aree (the woman in the photo), become self-reliant or that she now employs a staff of 4 or whatever.

The suggested $180 donation amount actually helps tell the story. While $180 is a lot to add to your grocery bill, it’s a very small sum when you consider that might be all it takes to launch a new entrepreneur like Aree. I’d love to hear how many Whole Foods customers choose the $180 option.

The icon was placed in an easy-to-spot plastic holder at the checkout stand.
The colors are bright and the design is smart. There was a matching poster and tri-fold brochure on a nearby bulletin board. The cashier didn’t mention the icons as I was checking out, but she did warmly thank me for buying it.

Kudos to Whole Foods on a wonderful paper icon campaign.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…

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…

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…