We have written about cause-related marketing before, and this time of year is particularly busy with non-profits seeking donations as the year ends. Does helping a non-profit help your for-profit business?
There are hard benefits and soft benefits to be taken into consideration. The soft benefits are relatively obvious: your business is connecting to the community through giving back, you are making an emotional connection with people, and you feel good (rewarded) for what you are doing.
Data exists that describe some hard facts. According to MarketingProfs, “If offered comparable price and quality, 91% of consumers worldwide would switch brands to one associated with a good cause, according to a recent study. … Similarly, 92% of consumers surveyed said they would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit if given the opportunity, and more than two-thirds (67%) said they have done so in the previous 12 months. Moreover, 90% of people surveyed said they would boycott a brand for irresponsible behavior.” (Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/10966/consumers-prefer-brands-associated-with-good-causes#ixzz3KlUDFt8X)
Many millennials, in particular, have strong feelings about the way that companies interact with the environment, the neighborhood, and employees. In our work with restaurants, we have seen a measurable increase in guests and plates served when there is a benefit for a non-profit. The programs we have implemented include donations to a worthy cause in exchange for additional business. Discounts on meals can be offered in some cases, but is not necessary, we have found. What works best for your business may not work for the best. One size does not fit all in this case. What do your customers care about? Who are they? What will drive their loyalty?
Engagement, connection, loyalty, love. These are all characteristics that appeal to consumers today. How can giving back help your business grow?