Cause Marketing: Does Corporate Social Responsibility = Sales?

I just started up another semester of classes at Emerson College and I’m actually really excited about it. I am finally done with the majority of my required courses so I have the freedom to take classes that really interest me and that I think will advance my career.

One of the classes I’m taking is Public Affairs, which I’m thoroughly enjoying so far. And you, as my blog readers, might just benefit from this as well. I was given the choice between writing a 10 page term paper OR writing one blog post a week that is related to the field of Public Affairs. For me, that was a no brainer. I’ve been meaning to get back on my personal blogging game, so I hope you’re just as excited as I am to start seeing regular posts again.

I’ve never really written about public affairs as a topic, but there are certainly a lot of things to discuss (Chik-Fil-A, the election, Penn State, the list goes on…) I wanted to kick off the first post by talking about something that really interests me and one of my classmates in particular: the effectivess of Corporate Social Responbility (CSR).

I came across an interesting study by Boston marketing firm Cone featured on the Public Affairs Council website that found that mothers ad millennials are the most likely Americans to buy products that benefit a cause.

Here were some of the highlights:

  • Forty-one percent of Americans say they have purchased a product in the past
    year because it was associated with a social or environmental cause
  • Nearly two-thirds of mothers have bought such products in the past
  • 93% of these mothers would switch brands if the newly chosen brand was associated with a cause
  • More than half of millennials (young people between the ages of 18-24) are likely to buy a brand that associates themselves with a cause

To read the full survey results, click here.

So, is cause marketing effective? I’d have to say it really depends on your audience. One of the brands that I favor who does an excellent job with cause marketing is TOMS, who has a “One for One” philosophy that has really caught on.

The shoes are fairly expensive – and I am not one to invest much money in my wardrobe. However, I am a proud owner of the classic style and the wedges – both of which I would highly recommend.

So, do you have a brand that you favor because it is connected to a cause? Would you be willing to pay more for that product because of it?

Let me know!

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One comment

  1. Love this! I got the opportunity to speak to Blake Mycoskie on two occasions. He said the reason he started the company to help people in the world (he was highly successful already from several companies of his own).

    I know that a lot of people back TOMS and I myself have owned pairs in the past(I don’t buy clothing/shoes very often) and I loved them. I also bought them because it did help people in the process.

    The only thing I can see happening as a trend in this business model increases, is that people will believe that buying something is the way to help people as opposed to donating time and effort. Although organization do rely greatly on contributions, it’s important to have the volunteers to make sure you are able to complete tasks. I’ll be interested to see how it affects the volunteer organizations.

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