Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Skin Care Brands Gone Good

If you’ve read any of my previous blog entries, you’ll know that both I and my company, Glamour Gone Good, are huge advocates of socially conscious companies that leverage their brands to do good.

Lots of companies are doing good these days, which is great! But, what’s the method to their madness? And does it work for you? Since we usually only find out about these campaigns once they’ve launched, we really have no good way of finding out how and why these socially responsible campaigns targeted at us come about. However, we can certainly form our own opinions as to how successful these socially responsible campaigns end up being in motivating us to take appropriate action. So, I thought it would be fun to do some research of my own…and to include you in it!

Below you will find brief descriptions of three well-known skin care brands and their corresponding socially responsible campaigns. Read through them and let the information sink in. There’s a brief survey for you at the end.

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty launched in 2004 as a global effort to serve as a starting point for societal change and act as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty. According to Dove, the campaign supports the brand’s mission “to make more women feel beautiful every day by widening stereotypical views of beauty.”

Dove created the Dove Self-Esteem Fund in 2006 as the charitable component of this global campaign to help build self-confidence in girls ages 8 to 17 with after-school programs, self-esteem building events, and educational resources. Dove’s goal is to have reached 5 million girls through the Dove Self-Esteem Fund by the close of 2010. The three charities supported by the Fund are Girls Scouts USA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Girls, Inc.

According to Dove’s marketing campaign, any Dove purchase supports self-esteem programs for girls. (It’s unclear, however, what percent of proceeds benefit the Dove Self-Esteem Fund and whether any funds are distributed by Dove to its three charity partners.) All marketing of the Dove Self-Esteem Fund is directly tied to the larger “Campaign for Real Beauty” advertising and marketing campaign.

Clean & Clear: Join the Surge!
On June 15, 2010, CLEAN & CLEAR® Skincare, teen celebrity Demi Lovato, and national non-profit organization joined forces to energize, celebrate, and empower teens to get involved in causes that are important to them.
The "Join The Surge" program gives teens the tools that they need to start a movement and affect change and the opportunity to be a part of a community where they will receive support, tips and share experiences. With the support of, program participants can be matched up with volunteer opportunities based on individual interests and location. In addition, teens who commit to "Join the Surge" receive exclusive discounts off their favorite skincare products.

"Join the Surge" is largely a viral marketing campaign targeted at teens that aims to grow the volunteer community from 800,000 teens to 1.2 million by the program's completion in September.

philosophy: shop for a cause
The philosophy brand promises “to bring its customers products that inspire them to live a better life by being better to themselves.”

philosophy has a dedicated ‘shop for a cause’ category of products on its website. These products are also available at retail locations where philosophy products are sold. 100% of net proceeds from these products benefit the charities listed directly on the product packaging and in the online product descriptions. The charities supported by these products vary considerably. Some of the causes supported include the Women’s Cancer Research Fund, the Joyful Heart Foundation, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and PBS. These products are available year-round and are not typically marketed any differently than any of philosophy’s other products that do not support charity.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through the brief descriptions of three different socially responsible campaigns launched by three different skin care brands, you’re ready to take our brief survey here:

We’ll evaluate the responses to the survey in our next blog post. Hopefully, we'll gain some insights on the impact and effectiveness of three different socially conscious campaigns going on within the skin care industry. Thanks for helping out!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We All Love Gifts Regardless of the Size or Shape of the Box

These days, you don’t have to look too far to see companies you love giving back to the community in their own ways. Hair salon chains are no exception.

Have you heard of something called Hair Cuttery? Chances are you have, given that they have over 800 locations all over the United States. My own neighborhood has seven Hair Cuttery
locations within a 10 mile radius.

So, what makes Hair Cuttery so great? Just a few days ago, the company ended its 11th annual ‘Share a Haircut’ program. Take a look at what they had to say about it:

“We know a new haircut on the first day of school can help a child feel more confident and can make a big difference to start the next academic year,” said Dennis Ratner, founder and CEO of Hair Cuttery. “In these troubled economic times, we all need to do whatever we can to help those in need.”

From August 1-15, for every youngster (up to 18) who comes into any Hair Cuttery and gets a haircut, the company will donate a free haircut to a needy child in that community. Since beginning the Share a Haircut program, Hair Cuttery has donated over 500,000 free haircuts nation-wide! This year we're shooting for 60,000-that's a lot of haircuts!

Clearly, the program works. Otherwise, it wouldn’t continue to see the light of day. It’s simple to understand and even simpler to execute. And, did you notice that there’s no mention of cash anywhere? Hair Cuttery has successfully found a way to leverage its assets – the 800+ salon locations and accompanying hair stylists – to make an impact on a grassroots level in the lives of children with limited resources by offering them free haircuts every summer just before the school year begins.

So, they’re not saving lives or giving away millions of dollars to charity. Does that make the program any less successful? Nope. Brilliant, ain’t it?

And, the best part? You can do it, too.

Some key lessons we all can take away from the Hair Cuttery and its ‘Share a Haircut’ program include:

1. Developing a promotion anchored in charity can have all kinds of positive ripple effects like increased consumer brand loyalty, increased employee job satisfaction, and great marketing and PR results. The key is to strategize with your team on what kind of promotion makes most sense for your brand. Think about what kind of cause you wish to support and what level of results you hope to achieve. Those critical decisions will help you determine the call-to-action of your campaign, when and for what duration of time you should execute it, how you want to market it, and who will need to get involved to help make it happen.

2. Giving comes in multiple forms. Making an impact in your community doesn’t need to require boatloads of cash or even commitment to a single charity. Other ways to give back include donation of products and/or services and, of course, staff time. Figure out which of those forms of giving makes most sense for you and develop your campaign around that.

3. A small gift can go a long way. Lots of companies, especially smaller ones, have gotten the impression that you need tremendous resources to pull off a charitable campaign worth its salt. That’s not true. In a nutshell, the Hair Cuttery gives free hair cuts to kids for two weeks a year. The impact of the program is so large because it has 800+ salons to carry out the campaign. That ends up being a LOT of free haircuts! So, think about what kind of impact you’re looking to make: A huge one in a few people’s lives or a small one in a huge number of people’s lives? There’s really no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on what you can and want to do. Either way, a gift is a gift and someone’s going to appreciate it!

What else can we take away from this program? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

For more information about Hair Cuttery’s Share a Haircut program, visit:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do You 'Shop for a Cause'?

Beauty brands are becoming more increasingly aware that in order to stay competitive in the American market, they need to support charity in one way or another.

Why? Good question. More and more consumer market research is coming out each year with the same overall message: Americans want to support companies that pay equal attention to both society and business needs.

Take a look at some of the latest numbers (according to Edelman’s 2009 goodpurpose study):
  • 71% of consumers think brands/companies spend too much on advertising/marketing and should put more money into good causes.
  • 67% think its no longer enough for corporations to simply give away money to a good cause; they need to integrate good causes into their day-to-day business.
  • 64% would recommend a brand that supports a good cause.
  • 63% want brands to make it easier for them to make a positive difference in the world.
  • 58% are looking for brands to do more than just provide them a product or service.

Based on these numbers, it seems pretty evident that we now live in a world where the pendulum swings in favor of companies that put more weight on being socially conscious and responsible corporate citizens than their competitors.

Think about yourself for a moment. Do the numbers above reflect your own personal values as a consumer? Are you more likely to support a brand that is visibly aligned with a cause over its competitor, price and quality of both products being equal?

Here's how some of our favorite beauty brands are responding to this cultural phenomenon:

M.A.C. launched the M.A.C. AIDS Fund to provide grants to programs that serve people affected by HIV and AIDS. 100% of net proceeds from M.A.C.’s ‘VIVA GLAM’ lipsticks benefit the fund.

Sephora launched ‘The Sephora Project’ to educate and empower women who help make the world a more beautiful place. A percent of proceeds from select products benefit Sephora’s preferred charities.

philosophy has a dedicated ‘shop for a cause’ category of products. 100% of net proceeds from these products benefit the charities listed directly on the product packaging.

Of course, some brands do a better job than others at communicating why they choose to support certain causes or charities. There will always be those that give away much more money to charity each year than others. Some will have consistent campaigns over the years while others will switch it up as they see fit. But, at the end of the day, they are all giving back because they know its what their consumers want to see. It's becoming increasingly rare to find a beauty brand these days that does not support charity in one form or another. For those brands still out there that managed to miss the memo - it's time to wake up! (And, consider giving Glamour Gone Good a ring.)

To learn about other beauty brands doing great stuff to give back, check out some of our previous blog posts. And, feel free to share examples of other favorites of yours by leaving a comment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Body Shop Says NO to Sex Trafficking

For years, we've known The Body Shop to be a fabulous cosmetics company with over 2,500 locations around the world that sells us products using ingredients found in Mother Nature to enhance our "natural beauty."

But, did you know that when it comes to being a socially conscious and socially responsible company, The Body Shop goes above and beyond the obvious decision to celebrate and preserve our planet? In 2008, The Body Shop launched the "Stop Violence in the Home" campaign to raise awareness and funds for women across the world affected by domestic violence. The campaign has raised over $4 million to date. Pretty impressive.

The buck doesn't stop there for The Body Shop. While the company already has a few successful social responsibility campaigns under its belt, it's decided to take on an issue that not too many companies would be eager to touch. SEX TRAFFICKING.

On Monday, August 2nd, The Body Shop initiated a campaign to put an end to sex trafficking of children and young people. If you visit the company's website, this message will all but literally jump off the page at you. You'll be prompted to sign a petition that The Body Shop has launched to encourage the US to change the laws that allow children to be arrested and prosecuted when they are the victims of sex trafficking and, instead, replace those laws with "safe harbor" law. In less than a week, this petition has garnered over 10,000 signatures. Check it out here.

I have yet to walk into a Body Shop location to see how the campaign translates in the store, but I must admit that I am very impressed with the firm stance that The Body Shop has taken on such a sensitive issue. It's not every day that you see a cosmetics company openly lobbying for social change. It's an amazing precedent to set, especially during a time when much of the cosmetics industry is combating the Safe Cosmetics Act currently being proposed by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and its allies.

So, what do you think of The Body Shop's campaign to stop sex trafficking? Does it make sense for the brand? Will it be successful? What else can the company do beyond the petition to deepen the impact of the campaign?