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.

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