Social cause marketing, without a doubt, is the leading trend in marketing right now. During Pride month this year, it became evident that every brand under the sun had a Pride campaign – we noticed Bud Light, Listerine, Kind Bar, Smirnoff, Verizon, J.Crew, Nike, Playboy, and even the Donald Trump’s webstore had something rainbow to offer. Although social cause marketing is a great way to engage an audience and tie-in purpose into your brand’s messaging, consumers are quick on the trigger when it comes to calling out bandwagoners (lest we forget Pepsi’s 2017 Kendall Jenner commercial). With 2 out of 5 Pride campaigns donating no profits to the LGBTQ+ community, consumers are skeptical to say the least. Sure, Gen Z is twice as likely than any other group to have an interest in issues of equality, but they’re also more likely to not trust businesses to act in the interest of society, according to MarketingDive.
Honesty can be your best marketing strategy.
Companies like Lush Cosmetics have long prevailed their mission for ethical and environmentally-conscious sourcing, and the proof is in the pudding – a number of their products donate 100% of proceeds to a social cause and their owned media shows audiences the “behind the scenes” of how, where, and who are sourcing the ingredients in their products. In stride of their environmental efforts, they’ve launched packaging-free product lines and even 100% packaging-free stores in the UK.
Lush is a prime example of social cause marketing done right. Brands shouldn’t hop on any and every popularized social cause, but rather, their company’s ethos and mission should become part of the brand’s story in every aspect, whether launching a product, sharing on social media or building out a marketing campaign. In Gary Vaynerchuk’s words, “The best marketing strategy ever: CARE.”
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Transformational CMO East
The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between individual consumers and brands. This need to think “customer first” has made the marketing function more vital than ever before.
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