Cause Branding Digest, February 2, 2016

With Imposed Transparency and Concerned Millennials, a Boom in Corporate Responsibility?
(The New York Times, 25.01.16)

Way back in 2008, I wrote about Wal-Mart’s emerging effort to cut environmental and social harms from its business operations by exerting influence back along globe-spanning supply chains.

The Cost of Corporate Social Responsibility
(Forbes, 04.01.16)

In 2011, McDonald’s Corp. announced plans to switch to cage-free egg sourcing in part, pledging to purchase a million cage-free eggs per month beginning that summer. This September, McDonald’s upped its commitment, announcing that it would use only cage-free eggs in its North American restaurants by 2025. What seemed like a bold move four years ago is now commonplace in the foodservice industry—in just the past month, Dunkin’ Donuts announced it would use only cage-free eggs and poultry items by 2025, and in maybe the most daring move yet, Taco Bell declared it would move to cage-free eggs in all of its locations by the end of 2016.

Is Corporate Social Responsibility Just a Marketing Gimmick?
(The Market Mogul, 15.12.15)

In today’s changing world, as a result of the rapid increase in globalisation, organisations have begun thinking on more productive ways to improve on their business operations, thus Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is seen as a means of addressing the issues that arise from rapid globalisation (Stiglitz, 2002). Due to bad publicity on human rights violation and environmental pollution, organisations realised that to consistently sustain their businesses in the 21st century, there is need to legitimise its practices to those outside of its shareholders (Crane et al., 2008).

10 Strategies from For-Profit Companies that Pay Off for Nonprofit Marketing
(Search Engine Journal, 24.11.15)

Nonprofit marketing must catch attention, provoke emotion, and inspire people to act now! The digital marketing approach to nonprofit success is a multifaceted one and often requires B2B and B2C target persona consideration.

“Companies should not have a singular view of profitability. There needs to be a balance between commerce and social responsibility. … The companies that are authentic about it will wind up as the companies that make more money.” —Howard Schultz

Cause Branding Digest, January 26, 2016

The Y Embarks on Its First National Advertising Campaign
(The New York Times, 26.01.16)

On Sunday night during “60 Minutes” on CBS, the Y unveiled two commercials as part of a rebranding effort that aims both to change the way the public perceives the organization and to raise money.

The Y Stresses Its Community Work
(MediaPost, 25.01.16)

The Y (known to most as the YMCA) has an enviable position of near-total brand recognition. But dig a little deeper and many who have heard of the organization are unclear on what it actually does.

The Three Keys to Purposefully Profitable, Socially Impactful Partnerships
(Forbes, 19.01.16)

It’s a slow but steady rising tide: the sea of companies focused on building a better world and the bottom line. More and more companies are leveraging their financial and human resources to make a dent in important social issues.

Why Your Organization Needs a Chief Sustainability Officer
(Environmental Leader, 13.01.16)

Organization charts normally have boxes for lots of chiefs—whether it’s chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO) or even chief technology officer (CTO)—to indicate positions of senior responsibility for large areas the organizations’ day-to-day and strategic operations. However, organizations that are making an explicit commitment to more sustainable business practices have not yet granted the same seniority to the person in charge of those sustainability initiatives.

“Ethics is the new competitive environment.” —Peter Robinson

Cause Branding Digest, January 19, 2016

5 Examples of Using Content to Start (Not Follow) a Trend
(, 18.01.16)

The future looks very bright when it comes to cause-driven campaigns. The Ice Bucket Challenge started it but look for other causes to have the same light hearted theme. This encourages people to participate and have some fun while generating buzz about a certain cause. Look for more companies to try these light-hearted challenges as it could do more marketing for the company than ever before with user generated content.

Giving Is Better than Getting in Business
(Forbes, 15.01.16)

Most of us have heard the adage “giving is better than getting.” What you might not realize is that it isn’t a philosophy that should be confined to your personal dealings. It’s especially true in business.

NPQ’s 9 Important Nonprofit Stories of 2015 (and What They Can Teach Us)
(Nonprofit Quarterly, 30.12.15)

We have identified nine significant trends and stories to reflect on.

Tips for Taking Your Twitter Game to the Next Level
(, 23.11.15)

Whether you’re just getting started or have been tweeting for a while, here are some tactics you can use on Twitter to reach new audiences and expand your community.

“We know that the profitable growth of our company depends on the economic, environmental and social sustainability of our communities across the world. And we know it is in our best interests to contribute to the sustainability of those communities.” —Travis Engen

Cause Branding Digest, January 12, 2016

The Public’s Trust in Nonprofit Organizations: The Role of Relationship Marketing and Management
(Nonprofit Quarterly, 11.01.16)

This article offers a conceptualization of the “public trust” that is applicable to nonprofit organizations, touches on what relationship marketing theory says about restoring that trust once corrective action has been taken, and identifies the managerial actions that might impair that trust. It also offers an operational guide in tabular form on the meaning, management, and marketing of the public trust in nonprofit organizations.

For Many Nonprofits and Causes, YouTube Stars Are the New Guides to Growth
(Forbes, 06.01.16)

YouTube stardom is not, and never has been, an easier road to fame than the Hollywood path. And like Hollywood stars who were plucked from the constellation of contenders, big-time YouTubers generally feel grateful for the good fortune that coalesced with their work. So it makes sense that they want to give back in the same ways.

Retail Karma: Pay It Forward by Marketing with a Cause
(Independent Retailer, 05.01.16)

A great quotation by Robert Ingersoll reads, “We rise by lifting others.” Nothing is more true in day-to-day activity, and this philosophy can certainly be applied to small businesses and marketing techniques. Cause-related marketing is a great way to show support and commitment for the community, build brand awareness, and create a positive impression on your consumer base. Not to mention, there’s also a wonderful inner satisfaction that accompanies helping others in need.

Cause Marketing by the Numbers—What’s in It for Me?
(Lexology, 29.12.15)

There is a common belief that corporations must do everything with an eye to producing profits for shareholders. But that is not so. In fact, in its opinion in the Hobby Lobby case, the U.S. Supreme Court stated: “Modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not.” Brands can (and should) include cause marketing in their promotional campaigns. (And you don’t need to tell anyone, but doing so will probably increase your product awareness and bottom line!)

“Where sustainability works best is where an organization’s leadership gets it and wants it to happen and enables it to happen—so everyone from the person who sweeps the floor to the finance director feels part of that conversation.” —Will Day

Cause Branding Digest, December 15, 2015

Consumers Value Brand Transparency Above Cost, Research Finds
(PRWeek, 30.11.15)

Consumers attach more importance to a brand’s values and how management behaves than its new products or innovations.

Corporate Culture Has Become the Most Powerful Force in Forging Partnerships
(Adweek, 29.11.15)

Companies are no longer judged on what they say, but rather on what they do. That is why whatever goods or services you are selling, business will always be better and more sustained when people buy into your culture first.

Holiday Cause Marketing Goes Digital
(JustMeans, 14.12.15)

Cause marketing during the holiday season is nothing new. Companies have long realized the power of appealing to consumers’ hearts and wallets to break through the holiday clutter. Although this year is no different with dozens of campaigns in the marketplace, there is a new twist on conventional efforts. Companies and nonprofits are moving beyond the shopping transaction and engaging consumers to spread even more good cheer with digital activations.

5 Tangible Ways CSR Can Impact Your Business
(Marketing Interactive, 01.12.15)

The link between a company’s strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) is inevitably tied to its brand perception.

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart.” —Howard Schultz

Cause Branding Digest, December 1, 2015

The Transparent Brand: The Positives and Pitfalls of When Brands Bare Their Souls
(Biz Community, 24.11.15)

Transparency is a concept that brands should not take lightly. As one of the most popular terms in branding at the moment, transparency is not just something brands can adopt in an attempt to be relevant and win the hearts and minds of the contemporary consumer. It is a culture that needs to live in every aspect of a brand and guide the way it conducts itself, both internally and externally.

CSR: Analysing LG Electronics’ Leadership
(Business World, 23.11.15)

Giving back to the host community is one act that tells volumes of who an organization really is. While some make the billions and ignore the community because they feel their brand must soar with or without giving back, others deem it fit to impact positively on the society, despite their outstanding feats worldwide. One of such companies is LG Electronics with its extensive CSR activities aimed at giving back to its host communities.

2016 Is the Era of Cultural Movement Marketing
(The Huffington Post, 23.11.15)

Unless you’ve been on another planet the past few weeks, you already know the story of how T-Mobile has crushed its competition and ignited a mass marketing movement among millenials and Gen-Z for it’s brand and against the staid and established operators in America. This is the clearest example of the sheer power and force of cultural movement marketing.

Unilever Finds that Shrinking Its Footprint Is a Giant Task
(The New York Times, 21.11.15)

Hellmann’s mayonnaise is known for many things—making egg salad delicious, being loaded with fat, that old “bring out the best” jingle. To date, however, it hasn’t been associated with sustainability. Mayo is a processed food made by huge conglomerates, not a symbol of environmentalism.

“In the next decade, the most successful companies will be those that integrate sustainability into their core businesses.” —Jim Owens

Cause Branding Digest, November 17, 2015

Why Emerging Multinationals Are Embracing Social Responsibility
(Knowledge@Wharton, 12.11.15)

Earlier this year, Forbes reported that New York-based natural foods company KIND Snacks, in its first ten years, has grown from zero to over 450 million units sold. Its now-familiar rainbow-wrapped bars can now be found in over 150,000 retail stores. According to the article, founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky’s focus is to “make profit and make a difference … achieve mass distribution and make his products healthy.”

Date Aid: Are Charities Sending the Wrong Message?
(The Guardian, 10.11.15)

A new campaign by Bond is challenging charities that use pity to drive engagement in their anti-poverty campaigns.

5 Companies Engaging Their Employees Around Sustainability
(TriplePundit, 21.10.15)

Sustainability is no longer a buzzword that companies can simply talk about in order to improve their image. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are standard policies that every successful company must embrace to remain successful and profitable in the 21st century. Successful sustainability programs result in increased savings and profits through tax incentives and the inevitable consumer demand for greener products and services.

How Thoughtful Leaders Earn Employee Loyalty
(Convince & Convert, 09.09.14)

It’s axiomatic that customer satisfaction is every business owner’s first and highest priority. When customers are satisfied they will return and bring others. More customers means rising sales and profits. Right? Close, but wrong.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” —Simon Sinek

Cause Branding Digest, November 10, 2015

Businesses Serve Up Veterans Day ‘Thank Yous’ to Those Who Served
(, 10.11.15)

These corporate gestures of goodwill are growing in number, experts say, as brands realize they have much to gain by promoting a cause whose appeal crosses geographic and political lines, and as social media makes it easier for people to learn about and share promotions.

Condoms, Mustaches Find Mutual Cause in Movember
(CNBC, 09.11.15)

This Movember, SKYN by LifeStyles wants you to grow a mustache and remember to use protection. The Ansell Healthcare condom manufacturer is teaming up with The Movember Foundation to raise awareness for men’s health issues.

Deep Focus Creates ‘Impact’ for Cause-Related Efforts
(MediaPost, 06.11.15)

Creative shop Deep Focus is launching a dedicated cause-marketing unit to help clients connect with advocacy groups and organizations.

7 Ways to Build Trust with Your Clients
(TriplePundit, 20.10.15)

Great companies succeed because they understand the people they serve. When you begin working with a new client, you don’t sit across the table from balance sheets and industry numbers; you meet with people — all of whom have unique personalities, ambitions and challenges. Getting to know those people can be the difference between a lasting partnership and a failed sales pitch.

“If it is not in the interest of the public, it is not in interest of business.” —Joseph H. Defrees

Cause Branding Digest, October 27, 2015

Millennials More Attuned to Corporate Social Responsibility
(MediaPost, 01.10.15)

Millennials and people with children are more likely to invest in a company well-known for its corporate social responsibility programs compared to non-Millennials and people without children.

Volkswagen and the Failure of Corporate Social Responsibility
(Forbes, 27.09.15)

The Volkswagen case represents above all an absolute failure in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The company deliberately set out to design a means to circumvent emissions control—a stratagem known at the highest levels—with the aim of giving the company an unfair advantage over its competitors that made it the world’s number one car maker, in large part on the basis of its supposedly environmentally friendly cars; meanwhile it was poisoning the planet.

Role Businesses Should Play in Social Change
(Triple Pundit, 09.10.15)

As we move further into the 21st century, the global community faces an array of difficult challenges. Over one billion people are struggling with water scarcity, a problem particularly salient in California due to the ongoing drought. Alternatively, in places like Africa, the fight against dangerous diseases such as Ebola has captured the world’s attention. In order to overcome the challenges that face us all, we all must accept the responsibility to act. We each have a role to play — every individual, every city, every country and every business.

How Thoughtful Leaders Earn Employee Loyalty
(Convince & Convert, 09.09.14)

It’s axiomatic that customer satisfaction is every business owner’s first and highest priority. When customers are satisfied they will return and bring others. More customers means rising sales and profits. Right? Close, but wrong.

“Corporate social responsibility is a hard-edged business decision.” —Niall FitzGerald

Cause Branding Digest, October 20, 2015

3 Ways Empathy Can Help You Build a Killer Strategy
(Adweek, 07.10.15)

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that the company is creating a dislike button, or something similar. Sure, I’m curious to know what it’s going to look like, whether people will use it and how. But the thing that caught my attention—and has sparked the most conversation among my fellow strategists—is how Zuckerberg described the intent of the new button and what it might mean for users.

Ethical Mantra ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Becomes ‘Do the Right Thing’ for New Google Parent
(Marketing Land, 05.10.15)

The Wall Street Journal points out that Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, has a new code of conduct and a new ethical slogan: “Do the right thing.” The code states in its preface, “Employees of Alphabet and its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates (‘Alphabet’) should do the right thing—follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.”

Unilever’s Keith Weed: It Is a Brand’s Role to Help Consumers Be Responsible Citizens
(Marketing Week, 01.10.15)

What do Ban Ki Moon, Bill Clinton and Beyoncé have in common? No, it’s not the start of a bad joke, but rather a snapshot of the people who were in New York City last week, all with the same aim – galvanising people to take action for the good of our planet.

How Memes Can Help Save the World
(Triple Pundit, 09.10.15)

What do Twitter sensation @MarnieTheDog, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and President Barack Obama have in common? If you thought climate change, you’re right. A viral social media campaign, #ClimateChangeIsReal, launched on Earth Day this year and discussed at a SXSW Eco workshop this week, taps into people’s fascination with celebrity culture and memes to raise awareness about climate change and make climate action mainstream.

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” —Steve Martin

Cause Branding Digest, October 13, 2015

GoodCorps Survey Evaluates How Consumers Understand Goodness
(Triple Pundit, 07.10.15)

Ask anyone who’s launched a sustainable brand, and they might tell you that what consumers say they’ll do to support social and environmental causes and what’s reflected at the cash register are sometimes two different stories. According to social impact consultancy GoodCorps, the disconnect between sustainable words and actions might be better understood by asking consumers a fairly simple question: What makes a brand good?

How the United Nations Is Using Virtual Reality to Boost Global Diplomacy
(Adweek, 06.10.15)

During the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly last week, the U.N. attempted to bridge the gap between world leaders and Syrian refugees with a mix of virtual reality, documentary-style videos and good, old-fashioned conversation. It’s an example of modern storytelling on one of the world’s biggest stages that tech-minded marketers could learn from.

20 Companies Marketing Eco-Friendly Pink Products for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
(Forbes, 01.10.15)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off today, and much like pumpkin-flavored treats this time of year, it is time to brace yourself for #pinktober everywhere. While it is great that so many organizations use this opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause, consumers need to be on the lookout for companies that are “Pinkwashing”—creating pink products that do not really support the cause but are sold in the name of raising awareness. Even worse, many of these products are cosmetics that contain known carcinogens—so they are actually contributing to the disease they are profiting from.

How Many Marketing Campaigns Have Eliminated a Disease? Pampers Has One
(Ad Age, 28.09.15)

The world is rife with cause-marketing campaigns, but few, if any, can claim to have eliminate a disease in any country, much less 17 of them. Pampers has one that can.

“A brand’s strength is built upon its determination to promote its own distinctive values and mission.” —Jean-Noel Kapferer

Cause Branding Digest, October 6, 2015

Does Doing Good Do Good for Your Brand?
(Forbes, 04.10.15)

In November 2005, New Orleans was still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. Homes were uninhabitable, electricity was unreliable, and most people still lacked a permanent address, let alone the appliances necessary to clean the clothes on their backs. That’s when Tide showed up with a fleet of Whirlpool washers and dryers, offering free laundry service for families in need.

Millennials Enjoy Tying Vacation to Philanthropy
(MediaPost, 02.10.15)

Millennials are more generous with their time, money, and donations than any other generation, according to a recent study on travel and philanthropy. New data shows that 81% volunteered, 78% donated cash and 83% gave in-kind during their most meaningful trip from the last two years.

Prepare for Holiday Retail Success by Starting Your Charitable Plan Now
(Small Business Trends, 29.09.15)

Do you know what holiday charitable events and causes your small retail store will be participating in this season? Your big competitors do.

The High Cost of Marketing Follow-up Failure
(New York Business Journal, 02.09.15)

One of the passions we share is helping nonprofit organizations, and the reason we were meeting was to brainstorm on how we could combine our efforts to make more of a difference when working with nonprofits. We both feel like we could do more.

“I start by getting a sense of what I want them to feel when they’re done hearing from me—what I want them to feel, not hear me say.” —Charlie Shimanski

Cause Branding Digest, September 29, 2015

Older Millennials More Cynical About Cause Marketing
(Marketing Daily, 28.09.15)

While Gen Y continues to expect companies to become more committed to social and environmental causes—and to share about them through social media—there has been a shift, according to new research from Cone Communications. Older Millennials 25 to 34 are increasingly questioning their ability to make a real impact, and are more skeptical about corporate-cause efforts. Only 25% of them, for example, believes that making a purchase can create a significant impact, compared with 36% of those between the ages of 18 and 24..

Volkswagen and the Dark Side of Corporate Sustainability
(GreenBiz, 24.09.15)

Two weeks ago, the $50 billion German auto giant Volkswagen AG was named best in class—yet again—for automotive industry sustainability by the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.

A Brand Is Just a Brand—Unless It Has a Purpose
(Forbes, 22.09.15)

Over the past several years, I have seen companies put more effort – meaning, more time and money – into their brand, and it’s starting to pay off. According to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2015 report, the brands in its Top 100 list are now worth $3.3 trillion, which represents a 14% increase over last year. The report, which is published by MillwardBrown, also notes that building and sustaining a valuable brand is essential to business success because of market disruption and the changing consumer mindset.

8 Branding Tips: Be Your Customers’ Best Friend
(Triple Pundit, 14.09.15)

Thirty-seven percent of employees say they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why, according to Stephen Covey’s “The 8th Habit.” If employees don’t know what their organization is trying to achieve, then customers sure as heck won’t know. What we have here is a branding problem.

“You can have everything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” —Zig Ziglar

Cause Branding Digest, September 1, 2015

Here’s How Ethical Business Can Be Good Business, Too
(Quartz, 29.08.15)

From sponsoring the local Little League to developing environmentally-responsible technologies, US companies have long invested in philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Today, they spend an estimated $2 billion in cause marketing and another $14 billion in corporate philanthropy (IEG, Giving USA). And for many leading companies, from Wal-Mart to JPMorgan Chase, that means investing literally hundreds of millions of dollars in sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Why Meaning Beats Marketing
(Triple Pundit, 10.07.15)

These days you’ll hear lots about growth-hacking, social media savvy, PR pushes, and ways to spend your advertising and marketing dollars. I think it’s important to add one more option to that list — one that changes the dynamics of all the rest. Beyond (and sometimes instead of) focusing on the above, you can work on one simple aspect: making your product more meaningful.

6 Challenges for Cause Marketing Outside the US
(The NonProfit Times, 30.06.15)

The overall success of cause marketing campaigns in the United States has caught the attention of nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses, making such ventures in an international setting look tempting.

Bringing Cause Marketing Forward
(MediaPost, 10.11.14)

Marketing can be a fierce competition around the holidays, but for some companies the holiday season brings out their more humanitarian sides as well. As consumers start planning get-togethers with family and friends over long weekends, marketers tap into their customers’ sentimental feelings and bring their chosen causes to the forefront of their campaigns (those marketers who have causes, anyway).

“Over the last 15 years we’ve developed our brand into a global brand, and we wanted our giving to follow suit.” —Tommy Hilfiger

Cause Branding Digest, July 7, 2015

Bigger and Bolder: The Architecture of Cause Marketing Campaigns in 2015
(The NonProfit Times, 01.05.15)

Cause marketing campaigns are in their heyday. Grander in scale and more sophisticated than ever, these campaigns are producing significant return on investment (ROI) for businesses and charities willing to invest the time, money, and effort.

7 Steps to Up Your Corporate Social Responsibility Game
(Entrepreneur, 22.04.15)

In an age when tweets about an earthquake move faster than the human experience of the tremors themselves, good global citizenship is nearly impossible to fake. I could prove this by producing charts and graphs showing how your company culture impacts your profits, employee turnover, job satisfaction and media coverage.

CSR Programs Are Not the Answer
(Forbes, 10.03.15)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are becoming increasingly popular in corporate America. There is no doubt that most make positive contributions to society and in some cases, make the sponsoring corporations more profitable. These programs may help organizations attract and retain employees and, in some cases, encourage consumers to buy their products. But are they the thing organizations can and should do in order to make our world better? I think the answer here is “no.”

4 Trailblazing Green Companies
(Triple Pundit, 19.02.15)

Going green is a hot trend in the corporate world. This may be a result of consumer preference, the drive to be a good corporate citizen or simply as a means to improve profit by reducing costs. Whether or not the public continues to see value in green as a trend, the necessity of reducing costs by going green will continue to be an important business driver.

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” —Shannon L. Alder

Cause Branding Digest, June 30, 2015

How Corporate Social Responsibility Is Moving from Optional to Mandatory
(Forbes, 07.05.15)

“Sustainability for a business today is not a nice-to-do thing,” said Arif Naqvi, founder and group chief executive of the Abraaj Group. “It’s a have-to-do thing.”

Does Cause Marketing Actually Work? Measuring the Success of a ‘Drink More Water’ Campaign
(Fast Company, 06.05.15)

Did the talking water fountains and humorous ads of Michelle Obama’s “Drink Up” campaign keep people more hydrated? New consumer tracking techniques can help answer the question.

A Next Generation of Cause Marketing Featuring … Integrity! (We Hope)
(Nonprofit Quarterly, 30.04.15)

Can we build work-lives around people–instead of the other way around?

To Create an Underlying Social Mission, Focus on the 3S’s
(Entrepreneur, 09.04.15)

Everybody has a story. Throughout my 20s, I was a workaholic. I was never present, and my dream was to sell my business. It wasn’t until I achieved my goal and made lots of money that I realized that this kind of success didn’t make me happy. In fact, it made me miserable.

“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” —Betty Bender