From #MeToo to the Times Up movement, March for Our Lives to the #NeverAgain campaign, causes and cause marketing became a huge focus for brands and consumers in 2018. Marketers can expect more of the same in 2019.
According to Gartner Iconoculture, 62 percent of US consumers engage in some kind of consumer activism. From social to environmental causes, volunteering to promoting a societal issue, consumers want to see positive change in the world and expect brands to engage as well. In fact…
- 71 percent of Americans say they would favor a brand for their environmental responsibility (Gartner Iconoculture)
- 90 percent of shoppers are likely to switch to a cause-branded product (Forbes)
- 77 percent of Americans felt a strong emotional connection to purpose-drive brands (Gartner Iconoculture)
- 78 percent of consumers expected to make a positive impact on society (Gartner Iconoculture)
In the age of digital activism, it has become increasingly easier to engage, spread awareness and promote a cause. In October of 2018, AdWeek noted that supporting a cause is no longer a choice for brands. They can no longer stay silent on important social issues and are living in age where they need to make some noise.
Notable brands taking a stand…
- Chobani. In honor of Veteran’s Day and to support all veterans and their families, Chobani is donating $500,000 to Operation Homefront. With every dollar donated to their page, they will match donations up to an additional $250,000.
- Anheuser-Busch. The brand announced that by 2025, they pledge to be the world’s most sustainable company, by reducing their carbon footprint by 30 percent. To do so, they will be brewing all of their beer products using renewable energy. Which is not only great for the environment, but good for their business. According to Gartner Iconoculture, 90 percent of Millennials will buy from a brand that instills social and environmental practices within their company model (and 95 percent will recommend that brand to a friend.)
- Nike. The athletic brand took a stand when they launched their “Dream Crazy” campaign, featuring ex-football player Colin Kaepernick. While the ad and brand faced some scrutiny, the video garnered over 26 million views on YouTube and collectively more than 80 million views on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube combined.
- Warby Parker. According to the brand, 2.5 billion people worldwide need glasses but don’t have access to them and 624 million cannot effectively learn or work due to their visual impairment. To resolve this problem, Warby Parker started their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. Since day one, the company has donated over 4 million pairs of glasses to those in need.
Is cause marketing part of your brand’s 2019 planning? It is important to answer the following questions:
- What can my brand do to make positive change?
- Is there a cause authentic to my brand and brand personality?
- Can my company or brand make policy changes (environmental, social, etc.)?
For more trends and insights for 2019, check out What marketers can expect in 2019: Money & Spending.