Is cause-related marketing becoming the new trend?

We should all inherently feel compelled to give back to those in need and society as a whole – but we usually fail to follow-through on those feelings. Only when a major catastrophe occurs do many of us feel compelled to help others through donating money, time and resources. Look at Haiti as an example. When this devastating act of nature occurred, millions of people around the world united to support the Haitian people.

However, I feel that we’re changing our ways a bit. As people become increasingly aware of the blight and challenges we face around the world, an emergence of “giving back” has occurred in many levels. Just look around; turn on your TV or the radio, watch for billboards and you will find a vast amount of brands and non-profits partnering to promote a cause. This is cause marketing at its most rudimentary form.

A brand engages with a non-profit organization seeking to harness the power of the brand reputation of the company to propel the cause’s name and mission into the public eye. A great example is the Tide “Loads of Hope” campaign that’s been on-site at major disasters all across the country. The microsite gives a little background on the endeavor:

More than 33,000 loads of laundry cleaned for families affected by disasters, and counting….The Tide Loads of Hope program provides relief by means of a mobile laundromat. One truck and a fleet of vans house over 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. We wash, dry and fold the clothes for these families for free. Because, as we’ve learned, sometimes even the littlest things can make a big, big difference.

The company gives $1 for every bottle sold to a family in need, as well as sells Tide vintage t-shirts to raise money. All proceeds from the shirts go directly to those affected by disaster.

This is a campaign that is ongoing and lives on to continue to provide assistance to those in need, while being a great example of solid corporate social responsibility in an age of greed.

What’s this mean?
I think that organizations, businesses and people have begun a movement to support and advocate for causes and non-profits that seek to help others. This not only includes people, but also includes animal and citizen rights, legislative change, curing poverty and abolishing racism.

I venture to say this resurgence of cause-related marketing and support from brands and people across the country is the new trend. As much as I hate to say it, giving and caring about each other and influential and important causes is trendy. It shouldn’t be. We should all seek to give back if possible without recognition. But let’s face it, we don’t.

What I do think we can all do is take advantage of this desire to create social change in this age and fight to make it a regular part of our lives. We can create longevity out of this cause-related and social movement by engaging and advocating the causes and campaigns that seek to be change makers.

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