Category: cause marketing
Proctor & Gamble (PG) is hoping that cause marketing combined with value will help boost sales; the company is donating to charities when customers redeem Tampax, Always, Pampers and PUR water filters coupons from their BrandSaver monthly coupon promotion. Brandweek 3/7/09
Google (GOOG) is rolling out expandable ads, “which start out as banners or square ads and expand dramatically when clicked on.” BtoBOnline 3/6/09
Whole Foods Market (WFMI) has reached a “mutually satisfactory agreement” with the Federal Trade Commission, resolving the FTC's antitrust challenge to the Whole Foods’ August 2007 acquisition of Wild Oats Markets. Chain Store Age 3/6/09
General Mills (GIS) has launched a free mobile version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook as an iPhone application. The applicaton contains over 4,000 recipes and can be searched via recipe or ingredient. MobileMarketer 3/6/09 ComedyTime, a mobile comedy network, is offering the first standup comedy video application available on the iPhone. MobileMarketer 3/6/09
Mattel (MAT) says Dora the Explorer is just keeping up with the times, exchanging her short hair, backpack and shorts for long hair, a short skirt and ballet pumps, but parents say the cartoon character’s new look is a sellout. Multicultclassics 3/6/09
PepsiCo (PEP) is launching three new soft drinks in limited markets as part of their “Refresh Everything” strategy. Pepsi Natural, made with all-natural ingredients will be part of the line-up. Brandweek 3/5/09
NESTEA has launched NESTEA Red Tea, naturally caffeine-free and made from the leaves of the South African Rooibos plant. Atlanta Business Chronicle 3/4/09
Subscribe to Brandeo’s free weekly newsletter or RSS feed
Despite a drop of 28% in November sales at stores open at least a year versus 2007, Abercrombie & Fitch says they’re protecting the brand’s appeal as a casual-but-elite lifestyle brand for young adults by refusing to offer steep discounts during the holiday season. Los Angeles Times 12/13/08
Massachusetts-based toy retailer KB Toys Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to close its 460 stores. Atlanta Business Chronicle 12/12/08
Dell (DELL) plans to charge new computer purchasers an annual or monthly fee for tech support agents based in North America. Some argue the practice accedes to customer prejudice against non-Americans, others that the support should be offered for free but Dell sees it as a way to fight globalization and still make a profit. Los Angeles Times 12/11/08
Apple (AAPL) is number one on BusinessWeek’s first annual list of “The World’s Most Influential Companies. “Apple has gained a cultlike following because it somehow manages to breathe new life into every category it touches,” says BusinessWeek. Apple, as well as other companies on the list, “have devised winning strategies in their industries and are the ones with game-changing ideas, the greatest impact on consumers, and the bold tactics rivals emulate.” Also making the list: Google (GOOG), Monsanto (MON), News Corp. (NWS), Toyota (TM), Unilever (UL) and Wal-Mart (WMT). BusinessWeek 12/11/08
Michelin Footwear has launched a website (www.michelinfootwear.com) for commercial industry professionals, featuring over 20 styles of boots and shoes, many with soles inspired by Michelin's high-performance tire tread designs. Michelin boots offer waterproof, protective toe and metatarsal support; electrical hazard protection; resistance to punctures, chemicals, heat and abrasion. Michelin Footwear was created in 2005 to leverage the company's technical expertise in managing contact with the ground in comfort and safety. Michelin Footwear 12/11/08 Photo: www.michelinfootwear.com
Nickelodeon will launch "The Big Green Help Global Challenge" on December 14th, a multiplayer kids' online game with a goal of igniting real-world action for environmental change. Kids are asked to virtually pledge volunteer hours in the "Global Challenge" that they can translate into actionable steps in their homes, communities and schools. The game is part of Nickelodeon's on-going global pro-social initiative, The Big Green Help, which aims to make energy-saving and earth-friendly activities a part of kids' everyday lives.
Nickelodeon 12/11/2008 (www.nick.com/biggreenhelp)
“Four Bucks is Dumb,” and “Large is the New Grande” proclaims a 140 billboard campaign promoting McDonald’s (MCD) coffee in high traffic locations throughout western Washington state---including within site of Starbucks (SBUX) headquarters. The campaign supports the launch of McDonald’s espresso in the Seattle area and is not expected to be expanded nationwide. SeattlePI.com 12/10/08
Office Depot (ODP) plans to close 112 underperforming stores and 33 distribution facilities in North America. Atlanta Business Chronicle 12/10/08
Kid-focused Chuck E. Cheese pizza parlors across the country are the scenes of an unusually high number of calls to the police for disorderly conduct and battery by adults. Some local law enforcement officials even say the number of disruptions at their local Chuck E. Cheese restaurant are higher than many nearby restaurants and bars. Alcohol and the “mama-bear instinct” – parents rushing to protect their young---is blamed for many of the incidents. Wall Street Journal 12/9/08. May require subscription.
Subscribe to Brandeo’s free weekly newsletter or RSS feed
Green branding is a topic that many marketers have been grappling with---not only how to incorporate a green story in their brand positioning---but to understand exactly what it is.
The problem is that while ‘green-ness’ means one thing to you, it might mean something totally different to your customers, since it is used to describe a broad range of strategies and activities from environmental sustainability and organic ingredients to carbon neutral energy consumption and reduced waste. It’s all in how you choose to define it.
So here’s a ‘cheat sheet’ to help you understand a few of the many, varied meanings of green. And don’t forget---the most important meaning of green is how your customers define it, so be sure you’re in touch with how they view it before you make significant changes to your brand.
Some of the varied shades of green:
Reduced Environmental Impact
Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Biogas, Biomass and Low-impact Hydro Resources
Reduced Carbon Footprint
I learned about Innocent Drinks in a recent post by Mack Collier on Viral Garden. The UK beverage company manufactures ‘Natural Drinks That Taste Good and Do You Good” --- aka smoothies made from 100% natural fruits and “traditional/homemade recipes."
The highly successful Innocent Drinks sells $2 million smoothies per week across Europe, building a 72% market share in the 8 years since they were founded in 1999. The brand is infused with curiosity, fun, and compassion, contributing 10% of their sales to charitable organizations.
One popular public relations program, “The Big Knit,” enlisted people to knit tiny caps which were placed on bottles of Innocent Drinks. The company then donated a portion of every purchase of a capped bottle to an organization that provided warm clothing to elderly citizens.
The company positioned the program as multi-generational by showing one of their younger employees take knitting lessons – yes, Innocent Drinks actually made knitting cool. In 2007, the campaign went viral across Europe: “…more than 400,000 hats were sent in, while customers posted photos through photo sharing site Flickr and met up through online communities.” The program generated a significant contribution to the charitable organization and resulted in a 100% lift in increased sales.
Click on the video in our left sidebar to highlights of this wonderful program. (If the video isn't visible on this page, you can view it here on YouTube.)
So, what are some of the brand strategies that have contributed to the company’s success?
First and most importantly, Innocent Drinks provides a healthy, good tasting product that focuses on benefits that people are actively seeking. Natural is a key component of their positioning, but it’s a feature of the product that provides a reason to believe/support to the positioning rather than a benefit. In general, benefits resonate more strongly with customers than features because they link the product to customer needs.
‘Green-ness’ is a core value of this company. Many would-be green brands are so focused on telling a ‘green’ story that they forget that ‘greenness’ isn’t, in and of itself, a benefit, no matter how sincere or authentic their brand may be. The smart strategy is to first make sure that you have a product that your target audience wants to buy, and then communicate how being green contributes to its benefits.
It takes the combined efforts of every area in the company to ensure the strategy is a success Everything the company does reflects their vision to leave the world a better place. Their completely natural ingredients, sustainable packaging, carbon neutral energy practices, etc. are authentically green right down to their fruity core.
Success isn’t without its challenges. When Innocent Drinks tested its products in McDonald’s stores in the UK it angered some avid brand users who accused the company of selling out. Company officials assured them that was not the case and provided opportunities for ongoing dialogue, illustrating that the more successful a company is in facilitating a brand’s development; the more engaged they will be with brand followers.
Matter Network “examines the strategies, technologies and products that are powering the shift to a sustainable economy.” Readers are entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who share a passion for – and feel compelled to embrace -- opportunities to shape a meaningful, sustainable future for themselves and the world.
The SustainLane Green Ad Network provides access to over 36 million page views covering Green or LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) content.