Category Archives: Cause Marketing

The Importance of Patagonia’s Black Friday Campaign

This year, Patagonia announced that it would donate all Black Friday proceeds to grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect natural resources like water, oil and soil. The company expected to rake in about $2 million across its 80 global stores and In reality, Patagonia recorded $10 million in revenue – five times what the company expected – and is still promising to donate 100 percent of that revenue to the environmental groups.

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New Research on Millennial Habits and Corporate Social Responsibility

Millennials – they seem to be all the marketing world is buzzing about these days.

And for good reason. According to Dan Schawbel’s January 2015 Forbes article, “10 New Findings About The Millennial Consumer,” there are 80 million Millennials with $200 billion in annual purchasing power in the U.S. alone. No wonder companies are clamoring to find ways to engage them.

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The “Buy One, Give One” Approach to Cause Marketing

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.38.06 AMI recently read an Advertising Age article about Target’s new cause marketing campaign (launched July 13) in which, for every Up & Up brand school supply purchased between July 13 and Aug. 2, the retailer will donate one Up & Up brand school supply product to a child in need via the Kids In Need Foundation. While this tactic may not necessarily be new – in fact, here is a list of ten “Buy One, Give One” Companies – I’m intrigued by Target’s use of this approach to build awareness and share for a specific category within a specific brand. (This is an approach we are seeing more frequently as the “Buy One, Give One” model continues to grow in popularity. As indicated in this Winter 2014 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, companies such as Kiehl’s, Sephora, Whole Foods and Aveda have also introduced buy one, give one items.)

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Thanks, Colorado B Corps for “B-ing the Change” in our Community!

B Corps GRID projectThis week, more than 100 employees from Certified B Corporations around the Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins areas volunteered in their communities, tangibly showing how they are using business as a force for good by “B-ing the Change” in Colorado.  Similar efforts are taking place around the county, and the world as part of this global effort.

Colorado has an especially strong B Corp community with more than 40 local companies certified including New Belgium Brewing, Rally Software, Moye White, GoLite, Namasté Solar, Door to Door Organics, and the Gary Community Investment Company.  Nearly all of the 40 companies in Colorado participated in this program throughout the week – a remarkable showing of how invested our businesses are in the communities in which we live, work and play.  Read more after the jump…

Cause Marketing – Insights and Trends

Cause marketing is here to stay. That is the conclusion reached by Cone Communications in its recently released 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, which takes a comprehensive look at 20 years of cause marketing-related data. A few notable statistics right off the bat:

  • 54 percent of U.S. consumers bought a product associated with a cause over the last 12 months, increasing 170 percent since 1993.
  • 89 percent of Americans are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality, jumping nearly 35 percent since 1993.
  • 91 percent want even more of the products and services they use to support a cause.

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SXSW Eco’s Themes Parallel to Marketing Hurdles

I had the opportunity to attend the third annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Eco conference in Austin last week – an offshoot of the SXSW brand focused on “innovative solutions taking us beyond sustainability.” Attendees ranged from business owners providing sustainable products and solutions to corporate sustainability managers from Fortune 500 brands. And while the rooftop gardens, sustainable product labeling and corporate social responsibility programs that were highlighted are more than impressive, there were several themes in each of the sessions I attended – and most of them are very similar to what marketing professionals face on a daily basis.

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Cause Marketing “Coopetition” – Joining Forces to Make a Big Impact

I recently came across an article on titled “Cause Marketing Coopetition on the Rise” by cause marketing guru David Hessekiel that I wanted to share here – because, to me, it really speaks to the true spirit of cause marketing (or at least what that spirit should be).

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Making a Difference: Office Depot

I came across an article recently regarding Office Depot’s latest cause marketing effort – and was truly wowed. This strikes me as an outstanding example of how a company can use the power of its voice and brand to make a real difference in the world. (By way of a quick summary – Office Depot recently launched an anti-bullying campaign with One Direction, “1D + OD Together Against Bullying,” that coincides with the band’s summer concert tour and will continue this fall with educational programs in schools across the country. The company engaged in a similar campaign with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation last year, “OD + BTWF = We Supply Kindness.”)

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Advice for Lending Communications Expertise on a Volunteer Basis


Lunchbox Express hands out lunches at Colfax Community Network's summer food launch event at New Freedom Park.

Lunchbox Express hands out lunches at Colfax Community Network’s summer food launch event at New Freedom Park.

Colfax Community Network (CCN) is local a nonprofit that advocates for and works on behalf of children and families residing in low-income, residential motels along Colfax Avenue. I have been a board member for about a year and a half and I am continuously inspired by the difficult but critical work they do in the community.

Being on the board has been a rewarding experience but I have wanted to do more. Specifically, I have been hoping to find a more concrete way to translate my communications experience to CCN’s PR and marketing needs. Therefore, when executive director Jennifer Herrera indicated that she wanted to “get a lot of press” out of the 2013 summer food program launch, I knew I could make a real difference.

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The Value of Unbranded, Branded Content

If you haven’t already seen the new video from Dove as a part of their Campaign for Real Beauty, go ahead and give the video a look.

This post isn’t about the Dove campaign or the specific content contained within the video, because others have done it so much better than I could, but about the power of creating content that aligns with your brand on a value-based level. I recently wrote about a new video by writer/climber Brendan Leonard that is “sponsored” by Arc’Teryx and Yakima with not a single mention of either brand in the entire piece. Logos are featured at the end and there are minimal product shots, but nothing else.

Read more after the jump…