From a progressive 21st century lens, it’s not “what” a brand is doing that sticks. What matters most is “why” a brand is doing so.
A well-polished brand is a promise to its following. When that promise is supported with strong social consciousness, a brand’s “why” becomes that much more appealing to those who trust their mission.
As brands increasingly become socially aware, it is important to understand the basics of Cause Related Marketing (CRM) and why the strategy is an all around winner for its four key players.
- The Charity
- The Brand
- The Perfect Celebrity
- The Consumer
CRM is a strategy used by organizations to boost revenue exchanges in both for-profit and nonprofit businesses. This philanthropic driven effort is ideal for charitable organizations because it boosts consumer awareness and provides a generous donation from the partnered brand. Many celebrities are interested in partnering with projects driven for the greater good of the world. Not only does it look good for these stars, but it feels good. When having the perfect celebrity signed for these projects, the conviction of the cause has the potential to skyrocket.
In honor of International Women’s Day this year, an A-List class of powerful women including Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon, and Gabby Douglas stirred incredible social media buzz for Tory Burch, calling all users to #EmbraceAmbition. Proceeds from Tory Burch sales are to go to her foundation, which is geared to empower future female entrepreneurs.
In 1994, MAC Cosmetics created their own charity, the MAC Aids Fund, where they promptly signed Rupaul as their first celebrity endorser. Over the next 22 years, the Viva Glam campaign has featured artists such as Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot, Rihanna, and most recently Taraji P. Henson and Jussie Smollett. The company continues to outperform itself annually, as Miley Cyrus brought Viva Glam to its incredible $400 million benchmark in 2015.
These celebrity driven CRM campaigns get their deserved recognition within the brand world as well. Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign featured ballerina Misty Copeland, making the brand one of the biggest winners at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Today Under Armour controls 75% market share in athletic wear, and much of that is thanks to the empowerment that the brand instills in its user base.
The beauty of CRM is that it’s overwhelming positivity allows for its reach to span across brand types. This calls consumers of all ages, races, shapes, and sizes to use brands that they typically wouldn’t respond well to.
The push for clean water in developing nations is an issue in particular that multiple brands have taken into consideration. Unicef’s partnership with Selena Gomez and Matt Damon’s partnership with Stella Artois both broke boundaries that have called all users to take action to take part in helping the water crisis. The issue transcends multiple brands, charities, and viewer bases, driving immense amount of funds for one sole cause.
While the celebrity certainly gets the glory, these campaigns are made to empower the consumer. For these individuals, there is a sense of pride knowing that they are doing something for the better good, alongside the celebrity they adamantly trust.
photo credit: SupportPDX via Flickr