A Cause to Remember: Creating a Unique Cause Marketing Campaign

Consumers are asked to support many cause marketing campaigns from large and small brands alike on a daily basis. With the number of companies aligning business with cause increasing, there’s a lot of noise to overcome when vying for attention and engaging audiences in your company’s campaign. This competition should not deter you from pursuing a cause campaign, but it begs the question, what can you do to be unique? One of the most authentic methods to accomplish this is to build a narrative for your campaign. The right narrative will provide the opportunity to elevate a unique element of your company’s brand, align it with a pertinent and worthy cause and connect with your customers in a relevant manner. How can you create a unique narrative that ties your brand to a cause and elevates above the clutter? Here are three recommendations to create your own cause narrative:

1. Stay true to your brand.

For the narrative to be authentic, it has to be true and make sense for your brand. Sometimes this is obvious, but more than often it requires a fresh look at the brand mission, values and promise. Analyze who and how the company was founded, current research or studies, employee testimonials, executive stories and more to identify what about your brand you will communicate through the cause marketing effort.

2. Be relevant to your customers.

Make sure that you understand the values of your intended audience and give them a reason to support the cause. Are they motivated by deals, food drives, online campaigns? Do they shop online or in-store? Are they millennials or do you reach an older demographic? The narrative must meet your particular customers to ensure they are engaged in the campaign for your brand.

3. Identify a cause that builds on your brand authenticity.

The cause should have a relevant tie to your brand and to your customers.

Build the campaign narrative incorporating what your cause is about, what your brand is about and what would motivate your audience to engage.

Brand Attribute + Audience Relevance + Cause = Campaign Narrative

Example: Share a Family Meal and Help a Family in Need do the Same

Our client, Red Gold, set out to execute a cause marketing campaign to fight hunger during the month of October. To rise above the competitive landscape of many organizations fighting hunger, we worked together to create a campaign platform that shifted the narrative beyond hunger.

An important part of Red Gold’s story is that it is a family-owned company that has been operated for the last 70 years with the 3rd and 4th generations currently active in the business. The company was also founded on the importance of giving back to its community. Since the importance of “family” and the need to give back were major identifiers of the company brand, they were at the foundation of the cause campaign.

During the Red Gold campaign, the narrative “Share a Family Meal” translated to family members knowing that when they sat down to a meal using Red Gold tomatoes, their meal and the moment they were sharing was also feeding another family in need.

“Share a Family Meal” to #HelpCrushHunger is campaign platform that brought together Red Gold’s family brand values and the importance of helping others in need tied to an important cause – hunger.

The success of this cause marketing campaign resulted in a 10% sales lift for Red Gold during the month of the campaign, the selling of 1.7 million cans of product and a donation of more than 1.7 million meals to families in need through Feeding America.

When planning your next cause campaign, do an audit on significant attributes that make up your company and customers, and how they can uniquely connect with your cause. What will your company’s cause campaign’s narrative be this year?