Causes and Commerce: The Perfect Marriage

wedding

Commerce and causes are becoming more integrated. If you’re trying to see anything today, you’d better either be doing something charitable with a portion of your profits, or empowering your customers to support a specific cause.

Marrying Cause and Commerce

Bridal jewelry providers Michael C. Fina and TACORI are sponsoring a scavenger hunt in Manhattan on September 12th that combines the best of interactive marketing and raising money for a good cause. The “Diamond Dash: Dash for a Diamond & a Cure” will send participants on a trip to visit various wedding-related destinations in New York. 

The couples will work from clues texted to their mobile devices and whoever arrives at each stop first receives a prize. The grand prize is a big diamond and a honeymoon package. In exchange, participants raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  

Philanthropy and the Captive Audience

Think about what they’ve done. The charitable aspect of the event creates a vested interest. The couples feel good about competing for the prizes because they’re doing good. It’s sort of like sponsoring a 5k, but the scavenger hunt goes a lot further than putting the companies name on a t-shirt or passing out some trail mix. It provides a huge level of interaction between the sponsors and the participants, who by the nature of the event, are self-selected, perfectly targeted consumers.

All the participants are presumably in the market for a diamond ring and these companies have devised a plan to hold their attention for a good part of a day. If advertising rates for 30 second commercials are any indication, that’s a valuable chunk of time. Simultaneously, the companies are improving their socially responsible corporate images and raising money for a good cause.

Gen Y is Pushing Cause Marketing

Earlier this summer, triplepundit’s Gennefer Snowfield, spoke with Rebecca Thorman, marketing campaign manager for Alice.com, a new model in direct to consumer sales of consumer products like toilet paper and laundry detergent. Snowfield calls Thorman a foremost authority on Gen Y and asked her about trends in cause marketing to her generation. Her answer:

“Yers promote cause marketing campaigns attached to organizations and businesses because they are friends with the VP or someone who works there. For Gen Yers, it’s all about spreading and supporting messages from friends. That’s the opportunity for brands to get their cause and message to spread virally by people who are close to it and will champion it through their various networks”

When asked to comment on the general consensus that millennials are the most socially conscious consumers, Thorman responded:

Gen Yers are more socially aware and environmentally minded simply because the products and opportunities are finally widely available. Given the choice, we’ll choose to be socially responsible.

Under Thorman’s guidance, Alice.com began integrating its cause relationships from the very beginning. Pre-launch, they created buzz for the company by offering gift cards to charities.

What’s your company doing to attract the socially conscious GenY?

Image Credit: orangeacid, Flickr

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Comments

  1. Patrick Prothe's Gravatar Comment by Patrick Prothe on August 20th, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Consumers have more information than ever at their fingertips making them more savvy. With unlimited choices, they’re going to choose companies that give back and operate using sustainable practices. I think conspicuous consumption is dead – especially now. Cause marketing, particularly if it focuses on a consumer’s local community, is a powerful way to stand out from big companies that operate impersonally. I think the trend is to more personal, one-to-one relationships. It’s all about empowerment and balance. Just look at how Wal-Mart is embracing the green movement, because it’s good for business.

  2. SecretsPedia's Gravatar Comment by SecretsPedia on August 20th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    This is smart idea

  3. Lela Davidson's Gravatar Comment by Lela Davidson on August 24th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    This type of strong identification with cause seems to be more prevalent, and if GenY’s consumer habits continue, this strategy will too.

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