Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cause Marketing

Cause Marketing: Examples, Discussion and Stats
August 26, 2008 at 6:14 pm ·

Haagan Dazs have created a cause marketing campaign to help endangered bees.

Bees are an endangered species and also a vital part of our ecology. Did you know that we rely on bees for one third of our food supply?

They have a pretty little micro-site up at promoting the fact that honey bees are in danger and that you can help them help the bees by buying their “Bee-Dependent” flavours.

Through purchasing one of their “Bee-Dependent” flavours Haagan Daaz will contribute funds to help save the bees! The site is fun to use and has a download-able lesson plan. I think this gives it some authenticity and extends the campaign further than it being just a branding exercise.

The site has a viral mechanism – send a bee – where you can design your own bee avatar and send an e-card with a message to a friend.

They also have a bee shop where you can purchase merchandise and a percentage goes towards helping the bees.

I have written a bit on this blog outlining the benefits of cause marketing for brands. You can find some more ranting about cause marketing here, and some other examples of campaigns here: Nokia’s N96 Campaign and Ben and Jerry’s Whirrld Peace Campiagn

According to research:

“KANSAS CITY (PR WEB) October 23, 2007 – The 2007 PR Week / Barkley Cause Survey reveals that philanthropic activities can drive business success. In fact, 72% of consumers say that they have purchased a brand because it supports a cause they believe in. Furthermore, corporate respondents say they see positive PR (65.3%), an increase in sales/retail traffic (26.7%) and an enhanced relationship with their target demographic (52%), as a result of their cause marketing efforts.”

Cause Marketing is not new. It began in the 1980’s when American Express kicked off a campaign whereby every time someone used one of their credit cards they would donate money to the Statue of Liberty fund (also their icon image – NB a well selected charity in line with their brand.)

Stats prove it…this is really where it’s at. Help the world – help your brand make money – and help consumers feel good about themselves. It really is a win – win!

Here is a list from 2004 listing many other examples of cause marketing and stats from as far back as the 80’s.

If you are interested in executing these types of campaigns for your business check out the Cause Marketing Forum, Market Watch also a very good post on the subject, and perhaps this article “Cause Marketing Tps: Boost Business by Giving Back” aimed at small businesses may help.

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Cause Partnerships
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Cause Marketing The New Corporate–Nonprofit Engagement

Corporations have long been involved in supporting community, but when
the first cause-marketing programs were successfully implemented, it signaled a
dramatic shift in nonprofit–for-profit relationships: one that recognized corporate
community support could be positioned at the intersection of business objectives
and societal needs.

Cause marketing was initiated over 25 years ago. At the time many nonprofit
professionals viewed it as a fledgling idea, one that should not be considered part
of any serious fund development or nonprofit program. As well-constructed programs reaped benefits for companies and nonprofits alike, the number of programs continued to grow. Now more than two decades later, cause marketing has evolved and developed into a firmly established practice, a new way for corporations and nonprofits to achieve significant bottom-line results and community impact.

Cause Marketing Emergedgtl
Did you know cause-related marketing promotions can increase your sales as much as 74%*? Nothing builds trust with your brand or service like a connection with worthy causes. You show you stand for more than profits, and the message resonates with your target audience.

We’re an interactive agency specializing in Cause Marketing using online social and viral media. Our cost-effective, innovative campaigns will connect you with non-profit charitable causes, encouraging your most valuable audiences to participate. Using the power of social media, we’ll help spread the word and show the impact of your campaign through the web.

Contact us to discuss ideas for your next Cause Marketing campaign, or to strategize on how to make Cause Marketing part of your online marketing plan.

*2008 study by Cone, Inc. and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Cause marketing: Altruism or greed?

June 4th, 2009
( -- Companies that join with social causes to sell products not only enhance their image but also improve their bottom line, say University of Michigan researchers.

Build Trust, Do Good. -
We bring your cause marketing campaigns to life.

"Cause marketing, in which firms donate part of the proceeds from sales of certain products to a specified cause, is now a strategy adopted by hundreds of firms to increase sales for a wide variety of products, from coffee to cars," said Aradhna Krishna, the Winkelman Professor of Retail Marketing at Michigan's Ross School of Business. "But it is often associated with price increases, as well."
A few well-known examples of cause marketing include Project Red, which encompasses several companies such as the Gap, Motorola, Apple, Converse, Dell, Microsoft, American Express and others to raise money for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; 3M's Post-It Super Sticky Notes imprinted with pink ribbons to help fund cancer research and treatment; and Snapple's bottled water sales to help build playgrounds in poor communities.

In a new study forthcoming in Management Science, Krishna and Uday Rajan, an associate professor of finance at Ross, found that cause marketing can increase sales—but can also raise prices—of the cause-related product, as well as of other products that the company sells.

One underlying reason for the price increase that Krishna and Rajan identify is the additional benefit that consumers get from buying a cause-related product. Consumers feel good about the firm selling the product, and also about themselves when they purchase such a product. Further, consumers can even feel good about buying a different product from the firm, one that is not related to a cause.

It's this spillover effect to a company's other products that can make cause marketing worthwhile, the researchers say. In fact, even if a firm is unable to increase the price of a cause-related product enough to compensate for the donated money or if it simply ties a low-selling product to cause marketing, it can still increase its profits—as long as consumers feel good about buying the company's other products.

Moreover, firms that raise prices on both a cause-related product and other non-cause products earn higher profits than if they don't participate in cause marketing at all. In addition, companies will never place their entire portfolio or product line in a social cause campaign.

"Firms can use cause marketing to increase prices and profits, but should be aware of the implications of placing different products on cause marketing," Rajan said. "For public policy officials and consumers who may believe that cause-marketing firms are more caring firms and are genuinely interested in helping others, it may be insightful to understand that cause marketing also allows firms to increase their prices and profits."

Provided by University of Michigan

Cause Marketing - Moving to Win-Win-Win (NAMA 2009)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Brief History of the Modern Green Movement in America

A Brief History of the Modern Green Movement in America
Written by Sara on August 17th, 2008 - Topics: Geography and Travel, History and Trivia, Nature and Ecosystems, News and Politics

What is the green movement?
The green movement as we think of it today has evolved considerably since the early days. Since there are some popular assumptions about environmental history that are incorrect, if you have an interest in green issues this article will serve as a helpful guide to the origins and evolution of “green”. To understand the modern green movement, we have to trace its origins back to the beginning.

Let’s get started:
While many people associate the beginning of the green movement with Rachel Carson’s breakthrough book Silent Spring and the legislative fervor of the 1970s, environmentalism is in fact rooted in the intellectual thought of the 1830s and 1840s. In fact, the “environmental movement” is a significant thread in the fabric of American philosophical thought - first developed by the Transcendentalists (most famously Henry David Thoreau) but tangibly expanded upon during the era of American pragmatism in the latter half of the 19th century. Environmentalism isn’t a trend, or a cult, or a form of hysteria. It is rooted in American philosophy and, being at once innovative and practical, idealistic and active, one could easily define modern environmentalism as quintessentially American.

Environmentalism in America today is defined as:
“Environmentalists advocate the sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior. In its recognition of humanity as a participant in (not enemy of) ecosystems, the movement is centered on ecology, health, and human rights.”

But how did we get from Thoreau and Teddy Roosevelt to “treehugging” and finally, the eco-friendly consumer-driven developments of today?

1. Roots of Environmentalism
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) certainly helped foster a reawakening of environmentalism, but it was Henry David Thoreau, in his book Maine Woods, who called for the conservation of and respect for nature and the federal preservation of virgin forests.

George Perkins Marsh was another key figure during the first half of the 19th century who championed preserving the natural environment. Leading intellectuals of the antebellum era called into question the standard Puritan pastoral ethic - the belief that cultivating and using the land was inherently moral and leaving the land alone to be “wild” was wasteful and uncivilized (this belief developed in large part because of the violent cultural clash between early Americans and Native Americans - something we tend to forget about in modern times). To this day there are ingrained negative associations between preserving wild lands and pantheistic or pagan values. This tension flares up in popular discourse from time to time (“environmental wackos”, “treehuggers”, and so forth). The classic American conflict between secular rationalism and Puritan morality is certainly not exclusive to our management of natural resources!

2. The Pragmatist Era
Though Transcendentalism was famously reverent of nature, it was the thrust of can-do American Pragmatism (widely viewed to be America’s original contribution to philosophical thought) that doubtless inspired a series of steps to conserve nature. Beginning in the 1860s, the United States government saw fit to create parks and set aside wild lands for public good. Yosemite was claimed in 1864 (John Muir moved there in 1869). It was made our first national park in 1872. The Audubon Society was founded in 1872 and Sequoia and General Grant parks were established. The only setback during this era was the Mining Act of 1890, which is controversial to this day. The Forest Reserve Act finished the era of pragmatism with federal impetus. John Muir was elected president of the new Sierra Club in 1892.

3. Conservation and Teddy Roosevelt
Though the federal government had begun taking actions to preserve lands, it was Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir - a bit of an unlikely pair - who publicized and popularized conservation. Teddy’s visit to Yosemite in 1903 gained national publicity. By 1916 the National Park Service had been established with leadership by Stephen Mather.

But just as swiftly, the World Wars - sandwiching the traumatic Great Depression - forced environmental concerns to the background of public thought. While the Sierra Club continued to grow rapidly and became instrumental in establishing many parks during these years, environmentalism as we know it today was not a concern for most Americans - or, consequently, the federal government. It would take disasters and threats to bring environmental issues out of the organizations and ivory towers and into the mainstream again. In future posts, you can expect these events to be explored in greater detail. Your questions are welcome.

4. Conservation and Catastrophe
After WWII, environmental efforts continued to be focused on conservation of land rather than more personal issues like food safety or consumer products. That soon changed. The 1948 disaster at Donora(called the “death fog”) prompted national outcry; also during this time David Brower became Executive Director of the Sierra Club (1952).

5. Things Get “Personal”
The technological and industrial developments of the Cold War era and a series of surprising events (most notably Donora) fueled a new environmental concern that went beyond saving forests and establishing parks. Carson’s bestseller set off a furor with its expose of toxins in consumer products and philosophical claim that controlling nature is both arrogant and morally bankrupt. The Sierra Club prevented the damming of the Grand Canyon and an oil spill at Santa Barbara caused public outrage. The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964 to limit the construction of dams and other structures on important lands and landmarks. During these years the Environmental Protection Agency was founded. The late 1960s and 1970s saw the rise, then, of the modern green movement.

6. Activism and Codification
The 1970s saw numerous steps to clean up the environment: the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the founding of Earth Day, the banning of DDT, the Water Pollution Control Act, and the Endangered Species Act (which the Supreme Court upheld in 1977. Disasters at Love Canal in 1978 and Three Mile Island in 1979 terrified the public with the visible consequences of toxic waste, pollution, and contamination. The 1980s were plagued with oil spills (the Exxon Valdezin 1989, among others), and while there was continued significantbacklash from industry against environmental strictures, the various Acts were not overturned.

7. Treehuggers and That Infamous Owl
The 1990s saw the offshoot of radical environmentalism in the face of corporate mistreatment of the land - and groups like PETA, Earth First and ELF got plenty of media attention. As conservative radio hosts went on tirades about minnows and the spotted owl and the merits of clear cutting, passionate young activists famously chained themselves to or took up residence in trees - earning the nickname “treehuggers“. These actions gained notoriety, but unfortunately also had the effect of politicizing and emotionally charging key environmental issues. Environmental protection was alternately depicted as being religious, cult-like, anti-society, anti-property ownership and anti-capitalist. Criminal stunts from fringe environmental groups did nothing to dampen the image of environmentalism as extreme. Vegetarianism experienced a popular resurgence with ground-breaking books like Diet for a New America(Robbins) but it also became the brunt of many a late-night comedian’s routine. The concept of climate change was ridiculed by many as an overreaction from misguided “environmentalist wackos”.

9. The “New” Environmentalism
Sobering international events, catastrophic weather, visible climate change, 9/11 and war, gas shortages and scientific consensus legitimized environmental concerns during the early years of the new century. Al Gore’s blockbuster film An Inconvenient Truth seared the climate crisis into the popular consciousness. Suddenly, the problems were obvious everywhere you looked: our food was chemically treated and genetically modified, our water was contaminated with toxic chemicals, our resources were running out, our wasteful habits were filling landfills, New Orleans was virtually destroyed, and gas prices were soaring - to name but a few key issues that have spurred millions to “go green”.

This post merely reviews the environmental movement as it relates to the United States. Consider: American leaders have yet to sign the Kyoto Protocol or earmark serious funding to green-collar jobs and sustainable technologies and energy. But American citizens have taken it upon themselves join a global movement, to learn more despite the gridlock in Washington; to conserve, to drive the development of eco-friendly consumption, to buy hybrids or use mass transit, even to telecommute. More and more people now recycle, compost, “go organic”, grow gardens and understand the connection between saving money, improving health and helping the environment. More people are interested in technology and efficient living than ever before. And more and more people are becoming curious about the natural world in all its majesty and strangeness.

The great opportunity is that every individual can be a part of the green revolution in some way. Everyone can learn and take a positive step in a greener direction. No one’s perfect, but together we can solve the problems we face. Welcome to the “new” green movement.

Consider this your crash course in environmentalism. In future articles you will learn more about each stage of the green movement, as well as learn about both international and American contributions, challenges and solutions. Our mission is to provide interesting, educational, practical green information and ideas and we welcome everyone.

Going Green can be Financial Windfall

Posted on Mon, Jun. 01, 2009 to the Miami
My view | Going green can be financial windfall

Special to The Miami Herald

When Al Gore released The Inconvenient Truth, he forced many of us to re-think the ways in which our actions affect the global environment. He also pointed out loud and clear how America is lagging behind other countries in the cause. Those who never before considered a carbon footprint let alone wrestled with the question of ''paper or plastic?'' were suddenly racing to hardware stores to get new energy-efficient light bulbs for their homes. Add $140-per-barrel oil, and many started to look at trading in SUVs for compacts. Then, almost overnight, thanks to the downturn of the economy, the skeptics have resurfaced with their age old chant ``we cannot afford Green.''

However, something has been lost -- going green can be a financial windfall as well. Europeans are ahead of their American counterparts in these types of investments, and European businesses with U.S. subsidiaries frequently adhere to many of the European standards when developing their U.S. business plans.

South Florida is starting to embrace this concept, and Mayor Manny Diaz's recent actions to create a greener city should be applauded. Proclaiming that Miami will become the leading green city in the nation is more than great public relations, it will ultimately provide for a better environment and a tremendous amount of savings for Florida business owners. These ripples will have seismic effects for our region in the future.

Green has now become part of the economic discussion in a positive sense. Unlike a decade ago when the thought of signing on to the Kyoto Protocol was countered with talk of ruin to our economy, in the past eight years, further research and development, gas rising to a high of $4.50 a gallon and a severe economic recession have started to change our perception of the Green Movement. More and more companies are finding that capital investments that help reduce their impact on the environment are as profitable as their other investments.

Sure, the economy is still in a state of recovery, and that is the very reason to go green. Never before has minding the bottom line been as important. Even small inroads into the ''greening'' process are producing immediate returns for companies.

Our company, Transwestern, which is one of the largest privately held commercial real estate and development firms in the United States, has been working with the subsidiary of a large European conglomerate operating a distribution center in Miami that had a corporate mandate to reduce their impact on landfills by recycling. With a $15,000 investment in cardboard compactors, this client began recycling cardboard boxes and reduced their garbage haul-away fees by $60,000 per year. In addition, they started selling the cardboard for $20,000 per year, yielding a $65,000 profit in the first year alone. Good for the environment and great for the bottom line.

Another subsidiary of a European company we work with was interested in reducing the energy cost of a new warehouse they had leased for seven years in the Pacific Northwest. The client replaced all warehouse lighting with new, high efficiency fluorescent bulbs controlled by motion sensors. Easy, right? This client recouped their investment in less than two years and expects a more than 300 percent return over the life of the lease.

In business, just like in people's own homes, small investments in environmentally friendly products, processes or services can yield significant savings. Reducing our impact on the environment by improving energy efficiency, recycling and re-using is a great start. What's good for the environment also makes great business sense.

Walter Byrd is managing director of the South Florida office of Transwestern, one of the largest privately held commercial real estate and development firms in the United States and a leader in sustainability.