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BOGO Toothbrushes

If you sell consumables… food, drink, shoes, jeans, etc… to the public you’d be wise to think about cause marketing.

Here’s why; most of us will only buy a handful of washing machines or refrigerators… what economists call 'durables'… in our lives. By contrast, we’re constantly replacing the non-durables or ‘soft goods.’

But all that consumption, necessary as much of it is, can feel like it’s too much. But cause marketing can take away some of the sting out of consuming non-durables. And one increasingly duplicated cause marketing approach is BOGO, or Buy One, Give One.

Smile Squared, which sells bamboo handle toothbrushes, offers the latest BOGO I’ve seen.

Smile Squared, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, was prompted when husband and wife Eric and Geri Cope were working in a dental clinic in Guatemala in 2010. The Cope’s, who have three adopted children including Benny who hails from Guatemala, were struck by how few children there had toothbrushes. Those that did, might share their toothbrush with other family members.

“That small basic necessity on our part was truly, with these kids, a luxury,” Eric told a reporter.

Periodontal disease is highly correlated with heart disease and diabetes. As I often say in this space, correlation is not causation. (My own non-medical opinion is that in time we’ll find that bacteria causes a lot more disease than we currently attribute to it). Causation or not, the risk factor between heart disease and gum disease is yet another reason to floss and brush your teeth regularly.

But for many kids in the developing world, good dental hygiene… and with it the attendant health benefits… is the exception.

Smile Squared toothbrushes are donated through the International Justice Mission, Save Their Smiles, and Hands of Hope. So far the Smile Squared toothbrushes have landed with kids in Central America, Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, Cambodia, India and the Philippines.

The toothbrushes are sold online and in small grocery and drugstores. If you own a chain of stores, I suspect the Copes would love to chat with you.

The toothbrushes retail for $6. On the Smile Squared website you can also choose to donate 2 toothbrushes for $6.

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