Little Brown Bear Bangle

Campaign: Little Brown Bear Bangle
Company: Bloomingdale's and Alex and Ani
Nonprofit Partner: Child Mind Institute
Launch Date: September, 2014

Campaign:

For the fifth year, Bloomingdale’s and the Child Mind Institute are teaming up to bring the Little Brown Bear plush by Gund to shoppers. Two dollars from the sale of each $18 bear benefits CMI. New this year is an added element and partnership: an Alex and Ani Little Brown Bear bangle. The exclusive bangle is available in Bloomingdales locations and online at Bloomingdales.com only through December. Twenty percent of proceeds from the bangle will go to CMI with a minimum donation of $25,000. The bangles (minus the “B” charm) will be available at Alex and Ani locations in early 2015.

Our Take:

Alex and Ani’s Charity by Design team began a partnership with CMI through the company’s established wholesale partnership with Bloomingdale’s. The multi-partner campaign is an excellent way to spread the important message of children’s mental health using the well-known Little Brown Bear icon as the messenger. A fantastic example of two companies combining their brand power and affinity around a cause and a special time of year for mutual benefit!

Olive Garden Round Up for BGCA

Campaign: Olive Garden Round Up for BGCA
Company: Olive Garden (Darden)
Nonprofit Partner: Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Launch Date: September 22, 2014

Campaign:

Olive Garden's most popular promotion – Never Ending Pasta Bowl – is back for the 19th year, and this time it’s layering on its first-ever cause marketing promotion. The Olive Garden is asking guests to round up their checks in support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America through November 9th. To kick off the campaign, 700 Olive Garden restaurants surprised kids at their local BGCA clubs with pasta, breadsticks and salad.

Our Take:

According to Chad Royal-Pascoe, National VP of Corporate and Cause Partnerships at BGCA, it was critical to keep this campaign simple and streamlined for Olive Garden employees and non-intrusive for Olive Garden customers. Here’s how they accomplished both: Customers are greeted by a banner announcing the partnership when they enter the restaurant. Their server will be wearing a ribbon reminding them to round-up (shown at right). When presented with their bill, diners will see an info card about the campaign (shown below) as well as a line item on the receipt itself for consumers to add in a donation amount. Visible and simple yet low pressure. We’re excited to see what this first-year effort will reap for both company and cause!

TOMS for Target

Campaign: TOMS for Target
Company: TOMS, Target
Nonprofit Partner: American Red Cross, Feeding America, Canadian Red Cross Disaster Relief, Food Banks Canada and others
Launch Date: November 16, 2014

Campaign:

Cause darling TOMS is partnering with Target to create a new holiday collection of clothes, shoes, and home goods, all with price tags under $50. The TOMS for Target collection features more than 50 items and will be in U.S. and Canadian stores as well as online starting November 16th. Each purchase will generate a donation of shoes, a blanket or meals in partnership with charities including the American Red Cross, Feeding America, Canadian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Food Banks Canada.

Our Take: 

Just when you thought the TOMS brand couldn’t get any more widespread, the Buy One Give One model goes even more mainstream with a hefty presence at Target. The TOMS name has become synonymous with the “one for one” model, carrying instant consumer recognition. This partnership is a smart bet for Target, which can capitalize on the TOMS brand affinity to drive sales and simultaneously polish their existing cause halo. This isn’t the first time Target has partnered with a cause brand, however. They promoted a similar collection with FEED in the Spring of 2013. Beyond increased customer reach, what’s in this partnership for TOMS? Any risks to the cause brand? Weigh in below!


Want More Engagement? Make Cause Your Centerfold

Scentsy brand manager Dan Orchard

Scentsy brand manager Dan Orchard

Scenty's Fall/Winter cause centerpiece: their first cause product back by popular demand called Ribbons of Hope benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation in the U.S. 

Scenty's Fall/Winter cause centerpiece: their first cause product back by popular demand called Ribbons of Hope benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation in the U.S. 

Scentsy is an emerging leader of the direct-sales landscape. With nearly 200,000 independent consultants selling candle-warmers and other home fragrance products via a party-based model, the company has partnered with nonprofits to create cause-branded products since 2010 to raise over $3.2m for charity, drive sales and unify their sales force.
 
We caught up with Scentsy brand manager Dan Orchard to learn about their cause marketing lessons learned. Here's what he shared:
 
Make Cause Your Centerfold
Scenty's core values are authenticity, simplicity and generosity. The final value espouses "giving more than you take" and their biannual cause products were created as a way to unify consultants to rally behind a cause.

One of Scenty's biggest sales tools is their printed catalog. When cause products are released, they're featured in the centerfold to ensure prominent placement and consultant participation. This placement has paid off: cause products are very often the season's best sellers.

Roosevelt the Rabbit (partner March of Dimes) was so popular it sold out and had to be reordered to meet demand.

Roosevelt the Rabbit (partner March of Dimes) was so popular it sold out and had to be reordered to meet demand.

Tailor Products to Match the Cause
Scentsy has learned that their best-selling candle warmers are those that incorporate a beautiful design as well as benefit a cause. Early in their cause journey, they created a warmer benefitting a children's charity featuring a child-focused design, suitable for a child's bathroom. It didn't sell nearly as well as those warmers that could be put in any room of the house with a more subtle cause design.

Because children are important the brand, they developed a plush "buddy" product that holds fragrance packets. Now when they partner with children-focused charities such as current partner March of Dimes, the buddy cause product is naturally child-centric.

Use Cause to Unite Competitors
Part of Scentsy's success has been in empowering women to easily own their own business. In a sales model that involves signing up others in a "downline", there can be an inclination toward competition. The cause product lines allows the entire field to rally behind a cause and encourages consultants to share best practices. Consultants also advance in rank within the company by participating in selling the cause product line.

Take a page from the Scentsy playbook: make cause your centerfold, tailor products to more closely match your cause partners and use cause to unite competitors.

Team CIBC's #IceBucketChallenge

Campaign: Team CIBC's #IceBucketChallenge
Company: CIBC
Nonprofit Partner: ALS Canada
Launch Date: August 27, 2014

Campaign:

Today Canadian bank CIBC's Senior EVP David Williamson threw down a new kind of cause marketing #icebucketchallenge: for every employee (there are 40,000!) that takes the challenge and posts it to Facebook or Twitter, CIBC will donate $100 to ALS Canada.

Our Take:

As the ice bucket challenge continues its phenomenal rise (at last report, it had reached $94million), we've seen all sort of creative brand and CEO engagements but very few cause marketing campaigns. CIBC's employee challenge makes the effort more Canadian by offering a donation to ALS Canada and throws down the gauntlet to employees with a donation incentive.  Check out the video here or below! What other brands have mastered the #icebucketchallenge?