Add to Your Brand Through Charity

t_newhard_kDid you know that 70% of respondents to a recent survey indicated that they thought American companies were spending far too much money on marketing and advertising and not enough money on charitable organizations and causes.

In addition to that, 66% indicated that they would switch from brand A to brand B of a product if brand B was helping out a worthy cause and brand A was not.

What does this tell us? Take all the money from the marketing budget and dump it into the United Way? As nice as that would be, I do not think that is the case. I think this data is telling us that it behooves our firms to consider integrating philanthropy as a part of our PR and marketing campaigns.

The data also tells us that the veil of corporate citizenship has been torn asunder.  Organizations need to show us that, the buyers of their stuff, that we care about whether they care about their corporate citizenship. We also care about whether philanthropic efforts are superficial or meaningful. Firms can no longer hide behind the guise of sponsoring a cancer run once a year. They need to be authentic corporate citizens. It does not take long for information about bad corporate citizenship to spread thanks to the internet.

So re-evaluate who is buying your stuff and consider becoming involved with a cause or group that the people buying your stuff will care about.

Example: Anthony. Anthony is a company that produces high-quality grooming products for guys. Anthony also donates a portion of the profits it gets from each item it sells to combat Prostate Cancer. Is that something I would care about as a guy? I have a prostate. Would I want to buy Anthony products over a close competitor that only contributed money to itself? For me, yes.

There are causes that are specific, like prostate cancer, and there are causes that are broad, like HIV/AIDS in Africa. It is up to you to decide how you spend your money. You can place it based on need (natural disasters), customers (causes that affect them), or personal preference (something you feel strongly about). Either way, people are watching your firm — and if you are showing them that you care about more than profits, the data show that it is a wise business decision.