This post is part of a series in anticipation of the Sustainable Brands 2011 conference of which 3p is a media partner.
Over the years, corporate social responsibility has evolved beyond simply writing a check to a charitable foundation and then publicizing these philanthropic efforts. As major corporations around the world are increasingly reporting that corporate social responsibility is essential to their business, many are looking to cause-related marketing programs as a way to enhance brand or attract new customers. Leading businesses are recognizing that linking a cause related initiative directly to a brand — in a relevant and authentic way – can be a win-win for both the for- and non-profit organizations that are partnering.
According to a Cause Evolution Study (Download the PDF) conducted by Cone in 2010, more than 278 million people in the U.S. want to know what a company is doing to benefit a cause. In addition, 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product when the company supports a cause they care about. The opportunities for innovation in cause-related brand/NGO collaborations are immense and the benefits of aligning business strategy with positive social impact are bountiful.
There are a range of benefits that flow to companies that embed a cause within their brand. Increased sales and the opportunity to attract new customers top the list, but company reputation and employee loyalty are benefits not to be overlooked in the competitive marketplace. In fact, cause-related programs can become a core component of a company’s corporate identity and overall strategy. Companies that reach deep into their history, values, and culture can develop comprehensive programs that create long-term brand value and drive profitable futures. But, how do companies innovate cause-related marketing programs today to the point that authentic integration is achieved?
Meet Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of Gap Adventures
Sustainable travel and tourism speaks directly to the outdoor adventure enthusiast who has a passion for preserving cultural heritage and replenishing the natural environment within the communities they visit. Gap Adventures is a living example of how aligning business strategy to internal values can create a powerful impact on a brand. They are a sustainable tourism company that strives to minimize its impact on the environment, respect local cultures, and offer economic benefits to local businesses and communities while simultaneously providing a memorable experience for travelers. Most importantly, they have embedded the art of philanthropy into the core of their business by dedicating their cause to support the development of small communities around the globe. Established in 2003, their non-profit organization has evolved from travelers committed to giving back to the people and places that they have visited.
Join the conversation at SB’11 and meet Bruce Poon Tip, Founder and Chief Captain of Gap Adventures, as he shares his passion for sustainable travel and his desire to align his business strategy with positive social impact. He’ll share examples of how your company can learn to dive deeper into customer engagement and cause-related issues to drive brand value and profitable success.
In addition, meet and dialogue with Jonathan Yohannan, VP, CSR, Cone, Inc. about their latest insights on communicating authentically and without greenwash!