Archive for November, 2011

Cause-Related Marketing: A Mutually Beneficial Partnership

Posted on November 15, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

In 1976, the Marriott Corporation was poised to launch its Great America theme park in Santa Clara, California but it needed a cost-effective way to publicize the park’s grand opening.  Around the same time, the March of Dimes ( was exploring ways to significantly increase donations for its pledge walk campaign and motivate their fundraisers to meet a given deadline.  The Marriot Corporation and the March of Dimes joined forces to simultaneously promote their respective interests in 67 cities throughout the Western United States.  The result was $2.5 million in donations (a 40% increase) for the March of Dimes by its deadline and a record-breaking grand opening day at Great America with 2.2 million people in attendance and hundreds of thousands of dollars in free publicity.  This collaboration between the Marriot Corporation and the March of Dimes was one of the first “cause-related marketing” campaigns.

Cause-related marketing (CRM), also known as cause marketing, refers to a marketing effort between a non-profit organization and a for-profit company.  Planning for a cause-related marketing campaign is not unlike planning for any other type of communications effort, according to Stephen Adler, author of “Cause For Concern: Results-Oriented Cause Marketing” and Chief Executive Officer of Charity Brands Consulting (  Adler states that in order to give the cooperative effort the best chance for success, the parties must think strategically about the relationship.  Strategic thinking includes considering such factors as: executing due diligence when exploring and identifying possible cause-related marketing campaign partners; creating a one-of-a-kind unique blend from the non-profit organization and the for profit company’s two distinct and separate brands; and anticipating and preparing for market changes.

According to David Hessekiel, founder and president of Cause Marketing Forum, (, Kevin Martinez, executive director of corporate social responsibility at New York City-based KPMG, and Chad Royal-Pascoe, managing director of national strategic alliances at White Plains, N.Y.-based March of Dimes, cause-related marketing relationships can potentially help the non-profit organization build lasting relationships with companies.  Non-profit organizations, however, are cautioned not to simply hand over their brands and hope for the best.  Cause related marketing is designed to be a mutually beneficial relationship.  Hessekiel, Martinez and Royal-Pascoe advise non-profit organizations to develop a policy to guide cause-related marketing talks and create boundaries for what it would be willing to do with corporate cause marketing.  An effective cause-related marketing campaign can ultimately bring the non-profit organization and the for-profit company greater visibility and increased revenue.

For a free consultation and more information on non-profit cause-related marketing and strategic planning, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at 630.830.4443 or visit our website at Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Creating a Valuable Brand Image

Posted on November 1, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

During the month of October, the Power of Pink was prominent.  From CEO’s to construction workers, from  grandmothers in grocery stores to 250 pound linebackers on football fields, the color pink accessorized wardrobes, from top to bottom, from hats to shoes.  That’s because October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and efforts that are centered around breast cancer awareness have become recognizable by a particular brand.  That brand is the pink ribbon.  In 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure ( was launched as a global movement to end breast cancer.  From its inception, the organization has used the color pink and, over time, has used variations of the pink ribbon as its brand image.  Today, the Komen for the Cure brand image is a pink “running ribbon”; however, the pink ribbon, in general, has been imprinted on the minds’ of consumers as a global symbol for breast cancer awareness.  And during the month of October the brand expands and becomes recognizable simply by the color pink.

Branding is a process used by organizations to create widespread recognition of the organizations products or services.  When an organization’s brand is recognizable and when the organization’s values resonate with popular values, people are more likely to support the organization’s cause.  According to BBMG, ( a branding and integrated marketing agency based in New York and San Francisco, “values-driven organizations can benefit from understanding that the people they appeal to also have values.  They are conscious consumers.”  In its “BBMG Conscious Consumer Report”, ( BBMG lists five core values that drive the more socially minded American consumer.  They are:

  • Health and safety:  Conscious consumers seek natural, organic and unmodified products that meet their essential health and nutrition needs.
  • Honesty:  Conscious consumers insist that companies reliably and accurately detail product features and benefits. They will reward organizations that are honest about this.
  • Convenience:  Conscious consumers pare practical about purchasing decisions.  Faced with increasing constraints on their time and household budgets, they balance price with needs and desires and demand quality.
  • Relationships:  Conscious consumers want more meaningful relationships with the brands in their lives. They want to know: Who made it? Where does it come from? And am I getting back what I put into it?
  • Doing good:  Conscious consumers are concerned about the world and want to do their part to make it a better place.

For a free consultation and more information on branding and non profit organizational development, call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at 630.830.4443 or visit our website at Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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