Brands are built on love. It’s probably not the direction you thought this blog would take, but it’s worth a thought. Think about any successful, leading brand and their audience engagement will be based on one of the core foundations of branding, emotion and connection. It goes back to the building blocks of relationships – customers need to be loved, and businesses want to be loved.
Brands behind Cause Marketing
In this blog, we’ll discover why audiences look for more than a pretty brand to engage with and why brands need to step up their attraction.
The importance of emotion
Let’s be frank, brands are not merely businesses who buy and sell products or services. A brand becomes engrained in our way of life. Who we choose to ‘believe in’ can speak volumes about our own values and culture. They become part of who we are, who we follow, who we bring into our ‘inner circle’ and who we trust. Brands become a part of us, and audiences have the right to be picky.
Over the last decade, it has become crucial for brands to engage with their audience through emotion. Brands no longer have a choice in this matter if they want to be successful. On this topic, I came across an interesting article that discusses how younger generations demand more from the brands in their life.
It is important for brands to pay attention to social causes and show sincere support rather than using social responsibility exclusively as a ploy.
We know it’s not a new tactic, brands have been handing out ribbons and other items supporting charities in return for coins for generations. But using causes as a way to sell products has become a no-go in recent eras. Audiences aren’t daft and shouldn’t be treated as such. With audiences becoming more astute to marketing ploys, brand’s need to leave selling behind and focus on projecting their values, culture and what they stand for to gain the notability they crave. This has led to a recent wave of ’cause marketing’, an approach that betters society through a brand’s campaign.
3 brands behind Cause Marketing
So what’s the correct balance when it comes to cause marketing? Here we focus on the brands that engage through emotion and not sales.
Cadbury’s recent ‘Donate your words’ campaign, joining forces with Age UK, is a perfect example of cause marketing. The brand recently removed all words from the front of their Dairy Milk packaging to raise awareness of loneliness among old people. The result was a striking purple packaging revealing the iconic ‘a glass and a half’ graphic as the only element on the front. It’s a refreshingly minimalist approach which is making everyone do a double-take. As mentioned via ageuk.org.uk, “For every limited edition bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk sold, Cadbury will donate 30p to Age UK to help us support older people through our national advice line, telephone friendship service and more.“
There’s a crisis in the UK. 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness. 225,000 often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. Cadbury are donating the words from their Cadbury Dairy Milk bars to help.
Dove is renowned for their Real Beauty campaigns, breaking down the media’s distorted view of beauty. An example of their campaigns, #MyBeautyMySay, features stories from women who “stood up for their own beauty.” Dove created a way to encourage women everywhere to share their stories, the beginnings of a small step that together will break down stigmas. Bravo Dove.
3. John Lewis & Partners
During the run-up to Christmas it has become tradition to be on the look-out for the latest Christmas adverts. Power-houses such as John Lewis have been among the favourites for a number of years now. However, back in 2015 one particular advert, The Man on the Moon, pulled at heart-strings up and down the nation. Similar to the recent Cadbury campaign, the 2015 John Lewis partnership with Age UK highlighted loneliness among old people, staying, “no one should have no one at Christmas.“
Brands should embrace cause marketing as a way to refresh their values. Let’s not be gullible. A brand needs to have transparency and authentic actions with any cause marketing approach. Brands who fall short of this have been blasted across social media, falling in the footsteps of other dishonourable brands. As brilliantly stated by marketing guru Seth Godin:
“You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people once unfooled, talk about the experience.”
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