Millennials Stand Behind Brands that Stand for Something

Posted Friday, January 17, 2014

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Making shoppers feel good about their purchases has a powerful effect on the purchase decision
Seems consumer brands and retailers are all following the trend of promoting their cause marketing efforts at the store level via point-of-purchase, merchandising displays, and even on their packaging. Research shows that supporting a cause is an effective way for brands to catch the attention of shoppers, in particular the Millennial population, turning them into advocates for the brand. According to a recent article in Ad Age,  Millennials will seek out and support brands that align with their own personal values. 

How a cause marketing campaign can help your brand while supporting a bigger cause
The 2012 annual global study by Edelman explored consumer attitudes around social purpose, and what their expectations were of America’s brands and corporations. Here is some of the staggering findings from the research:

  • 89% of global consumers take part in activities that address social issues
  • 72% of consumers would recommend a brand that supports a good cause, over one that does not
  • 72% of consumers would switch to a similar quality brand if they supported a good cause

Partnerships between for-profit and non-profit organizations can achieve great results that benefit the brand, the non-profit organization, and leave the customer feeling good about themselves for supporting a bigger cause. While some brands develop cause marketing campaigns that focus on financial contributions, others such as TOMS, provide a “One for One” approach. TOMS has given 10 million pairs of new shoes to needy children around the world since its inception in 2006. The TOMS brand resonates with Millennials and has achieved staggering success.

Communicating your cause at the retail level to attract shoppers
This past summer Target Corp. created a “Feed USA + Target” shop within a shop inside Target that showcases their campaign to help provide meals to families in America. The campaign features the sale of an exclusive Feed USA merchandise collection; sporting goods, apparel, accessories and more, that incorporate the campaign logo along with a number that represents the number of meals that will be donated to feed families. The shop in shop stands out with custom POP materials such as temporary merchandising displays, overhead aisle signage and end caps with lifestyle images appealing to Millennials. Even the merchandise tags are designed to support the cause. Target also attracted Millennials by promoting the campaign on their Pinterest board called “Target in the Community”- urging consumers to “look good and do good at the same time”.

Promoting cause marketing on packaging to influence purchase decisions
When given a choice at the shelf between brands that make the shopper feel good about their purchase vs. a comparable product, you can imagine the purchase influence cause-related marketing creates, to even include switching from a brand they would normally purchase.

Tide Pkg- Loads of Hope


In 2009 Tide Detergent changed their product packaging labels to promote their “Loads of Hope” campaign. Consumer purchases helped support families affected by disaster with mobile laundry cleaning services when disaster strikes. 

M&M’s Brands partnered with Habitat for Humanity in 2013 to encourage consumers to volunteer nationwide to help build homes for Americans in need. To promote their cause, “M’Prove America”, M&M’s Brands launched a specially marked red, white and blue package with M&M characters “dressed” like carpenters and displayed them in temporary merchandising floor stand displays. The brand donated a flat amount of $500,000 to the non-profit organization.

KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group helps consumer brands and retailers execute an effective cause marketing campaign at the retail level. KDM’s production facilities in Cincinnati, Nashville, Atlanta and Cleveland offer more print production horsepower and flexibility from one provider: POP/POS, merchandising displays, signage and graphics, store fixtures, and branded promotional items to help you drive sales and build your brand at the point of purchase. We have vital business tools in place to help you order, distribute and track the investment you have in your cause marketing programs.

CONTACT US today! to put our retail industry expertise to work for you!


Tags: cause marketing , CPG , millennials , retailers


Samantha 01/23/14 2:05 PM

Absolutely Rich. Brands should align with a cause that is true to the brand. Simply selecting a random cause to support will not do any good- but really getting behind a cause that relates to their business can have a positive effect on everyone involved.

Rich Keller 01/18/14 12:33 PM

While I agree, the goal is to make sure the cause the brand aligns with is authentic and advances the brand's overall message of what it wants to stand for in consumer's minds. Donating for the sake of donating will not create loyal consumers - only switchers who eventually go back to their original brand choice.
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