According to the 2007 Cone Cause Evolution Survey, 87% of us “are likely to switch from one brand to another (price and quality being about equal) if the other brand is associated with a good cause, an increase of more than 31 percent (from 66%) since 1993.” The study also found that 89% of employees familiar with their company’s cause program feel a strong sense of loyalty to their company. Cone’s chairman and CEO also stated that “When companies inspire their workforces in this way, employees will be proud and loyal and will carry forward positive messages about their companies to their families and friends.” And let’s not forget about that positive message getting to customers as well.
The study found that:
“Many companies are choosing which issues to support based on where they can deliver the most meaningful business and social results to their stakeholders. Nine in 10 Americans say companies should support causes that are consistent with their responsible business practices. Eighty-seven percent say they want a company to support issues based on where its business can have the most social and/or environmental impacts.”
For companies that do support causes – who chooses the cause to support? Does the quote above mean that the CEO, or Board of Directors, or investors, or employees choose? Hey, what about having the customers choose where your corporate support goes? After all, if you didn’t have customers buying your products and services you wouldn’t have resources to donate. Maybe try something along the lines of Amex’s The Member Project , where members vote who will receive the funds from Amex.
You can support more than one cause, or more than one organzation as well. Let’s say your customers want you to support local schools. If you have multiple divisions or locations, you could donate funds to each of the schools in the same community as each of your locations. Find a way to co-create your cause marketing strategy with your employees and your customers, so that “your” cause becomes “our” cause.