Shopping Incentives

I received an email from the Gap yesterday about an upcoming sale, where 5% of what you spend goes to one of six charities. You choose which one.

This is often referred to as ‘Cause Marketing’—a strategy that is mutually beneficial for the business as well as the nonprofit.

According to Cone’s Cause Evolution Study, which is self-described as, “The nation’s longest Cause Branding benchmark, the study explores consumer attitudes and expectations of company support for social and environmental issues. The results are exciting in light of the recession – they revealed that even as cause marketing continues to grow, consumers are eager for more. In fact, 83 percent of Americans want MORE of the products, services and retailers they use to support causes.”

A Symbiotic Relationship: 1)  The company sells more product and the nonprofit gets a percentage. You can feel good about buying something you wanted to purchase anyway.

2)  It increases awareness of a cause.

3)  You might discover it’s a cause you want to support beyond this sale purchase.

The Opposing View: If you really want to support a cause, give directly to the nonprofit. All of that $200 goes to them instead of $10.

My Stance: 1)  I am more likely to support companies trying to be socially responsible (who use cause marketing) as long as the pairing of the company and the nonprofit makes sense.

2)  It will not serve as a replacement for my yearly giving. These donations are sprinkles on top.

For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, I suggest checking out the interesting blog, Social Citizens.

Is it an incentive for you to shop at a certain store if they are supporting a particular cause? Would you switch brands because of it?

What do you think of cause marketing?

Photo by Squidish


2 comments on “Shopping Incentives

  1. It is very interesting to see how giving of resources has turned into the politically correct thing to do. I hope as more people get involved in causes they are now exposed to through marketing like this, the trend will continue to grow. I agree with you, that this type of giving does open the public’s eyes to causes they may not have otherwise recognized. I wonder how many people seek out further information about a cause they have heard about this way? I also agree and hope others do too that this type of giving is in ADDITION to the donations I make throughout the year on a regular basis… the sprinkles!

  2. Pingback: 5 Ways The Publishing Community Promotes Good Causes and Can Simultaneously Help the Aspiring Writer | The Volunteer Fringe – What Have You Done?


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