Cause marketing, so far relegated to the periphery of all marketing activities, can actually become the main branding activity for any brand.
The drivers that trigger consumers to buy something has always been a mystery over which brands have invested much time and effort. Every little insight is important in this domain. A new research from Cone Communications states that most holiday consumers would switch brands to support one that itself supported a social cause or issue.
Creation of and care for society is what makes us human. Social media is thus in vogue because it helps bring people together. In the same way most people are aware about the many disparities in society and their heart goes out to those that try to do something about it. And though they might not themselves be actively involved in these activities they would like to support it. Hence, supporting brands that support causes becomes an factor in choosing one brand over another.
The research conducted by the public relations and marketing agency, Cone Communication found that an overwhelming 94 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands, about equal in price and quality, to one that supports a social issue. This purchase behaviour is at an all-time high since Cone first began measuring consumer purchase trends in 1993, according to one of Cone's cause marketing experts, Craig Bida.
"Over the years, consumers have been increasingly expecting companies to support social causes. Now we're seeing Americans demand companies address issues by speaking with their wallets," said Bida, Executive Vice President of cause branding and non-profit marketing in a company press release.
Further the research finds that:
- 91 percent people would buy a product associated with a cause given the opportunity with 62% saying that they have already purchased a cause-related product in the previous year
- 81 percent respondents would donate to a charity supported by a company they trust with 70% stating that they have already made a donation in the previous year
Amongst the various causes American are most likely to support, the ones that help economic development topped the list in the research with 96 percent support.
"Americans expect companies to address issues that affect the quality of life locally and advance economic development, such as Starbucks' Create Jobs for USA campaign," said Bida. "For companies, the message is clear," continued Bida, "with consumer expectations higher than ever, it is critical for brands to support causes and demonstrate meaningful impact on important social issues."
Cause marketing has often been looked as one of the small side activity in the major marketing pie of any brand. This research clearly shows that cause marketing, depending upon the brand, can indeed become the main marketing activity for them instead of being in the periphery. The reason for this would be the same reason; marketing is a prime activity for any brand - profits.
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