Treasure&Bond

Campaign: Treasure&Bond
Company: Nordstrom
Nonprofit Partner: Girls, Inc.
Launch Date: August 2014

Campaign:

Nordstrom has rolled out its first ever charitably-focused private label brand called Treasure&Bond. Five percent of the net profits from sales of Treasure&Bond merchandise will go to a nonprofit organization that's empowering women and girls with the first partner being Girls, Inc (through December 31, 2014). Currently available online and at 86 stores around the country, the line is named for the company's NYC-based philanthropic store which gave more than $200,000 to local charities over the course of the two years it was in business.

Our Take:

Welcome, Nordstrom, the world of retail cause marketing! When the philanthropic Treasure&Bond store closed in 2013, a spokesperson described the venture as an "experiment". Based on the conservative rollout of this private label brand, it appears the retailer continues their cautious cause experiment with this latest venture. We'll be interested to see how the line is marketed to customers and how the retailer chooses to tell the social impact story behind the brand.

Take An Hour to Overcome the Overwhelm: Learn the Basics of Measuring Social Impact

For cause marketers, social impact measurement data is like teenage sex:

Everyone talks about it, 
nobody really knows how to do it, 
everyone thinks everyone else is doing it 
so everyone claims they are doing it

This according to Kori Reed, who presented this month's Cause Marketing Masters webinar, Measuring Cause Marketing Impact.

As VP, Cause & Foundation for ConAgra Foods, Reed found herself overwhelmed by the demands for data in her role - the jumble of terms from ROI to inputs, outputs, logic models and beyond. But filling a role that took money out of the business without generating direct income, she knew it was imperative to grab the data bull by the horns and learn to justify her impact investing to senior leadership (which would ultimately enable her to garner more resources for her work).

The typical way both nonprofits and corporate citizenship professionals default to measuring impact is to look at:

Inputs: What's contributed? E.g. "We donated $10,000 to a summer food program."

Outputs: What happens? E.g. "150,000 kids were provided a lunch."

And, yes, measuring inputs and outputs is critical but Reed espouses that going beyond those metrics to address impact is even more critical. While inputs and outputs are simpler to measure, measuring impact asks, "What changes?" because of those inputs. Challengingly, social impact doesn't happen overnight or even within a year. True change often takes time. 

Developing the measurement muscle takes practice but Reed declares it imperative to establish credibility, securing more investments and future funding, generating story content and truly establishing business value.

If you're where Kori was, swimming in a sea of confusion and overwhelm when it comes to measuring the social impact of your initiatives, this webinar is a must-watch. If you're a CMF member, you know the drill: login to the website and click "Recorded Webinars" - it's right at the top!

If you're not yet a CMF member (you can always join!), go to this page and purchase the webinar for just $99. You and your data will be glad you did!

Star Wars Force for Change

Campaign: Star Wars Force for Change
Company: 
Disney and Lucasfilm
Nonprofit Partner: UNICEF
Launch Date: May 21, 2014

Campaign: Star Wars Force for Change is a charitable initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Bad Robot benefitting UNICEF's Innovation Labs. By contributing at any level, participants were eligible to win prizes including a chance to be in the Star Wars: Episode VII movie. Disney contributed $1 million to the launch of the campaign. Hosted on Omaze, the campaign raised $1 million in the first 24 hours.

Our Take: This campaign marks an impressive new type of cause marketing/entertainment mash-up that's growing in popularity. Leveraging a hugely popular entertainment platform, consumers are incentivized to donate with rewards ranging from a digital badge at the $10 level to a t-shirt and poster at the $250 level to an advance private screening at the $50,000 level (which sold out). If the incentives aren't enough to entice participation, the leveled playing field of an opportunity to appear in the movie with any contribution is sure to lure any Star Wars fan into participating. Watch for more experiential opportunities like this coming to a cause marketing galaxy near you!

Let's Get Her to Camp

Campaign: Let's Get Her to Camp
Company: Nestle Crunch
Nonprofit Partner: Girl Scouts of the USA
Launch Date: June 24, 2014

Campaign:

Nestlé Crunch's Girl Scout Candy Bars are back for a limited time this summer. To help draw additional interest in the bars, the brand is incorporating a cause marketing campaign called “Let’s Get Her to Camp”. Nestlé Crunch will donate a minimum of $200,000 to fund Girl Scouts camp scholarships. Consumers can help increase the donation to $250,000 to send even more girls to camp by joining a virtual campfire and completing their own campfire story online.

Our Take:

When this limited edition candy bar appeared on shelves for the first time, we wondered why there wasn't a consumer-facing cause marketing campaign to go along with it. This summer, the partnership delivers precisely that. Camp and summer goes hand in hand, which makes this campaign easy for parents and kids to relate to and very timely. Providing a base scholarship amount and inviting consumers to add to the scholarship pool is also a smart move. Incorporating a daily product giveaway as well as a bi-weekly opportunity to win camping gear sweetens the incentive to participate. Asking consumers to conclude a camp fire story (vs. creating one of their own) also lowers the barrier to entry by providing content for people to respond to. The only thing missing from this campaign? Photos or video of real Girl Scouts themselves. 

Reemployment

Campaign: Reemployment
Company: Fifth Third Bank and NextJob
Nonprofit Partner: None
Launch Date: May 29, 2014

Campaign:

Piloted in 2012, Fifth Third Bank identified mortgage customers who were behind in their payments due to job loss and offered to help them land a new job with outplacement firm NextJob's comprehensive job search program. After 6 months, nearly 40% had landed jobs. The program expanded in 2013 and this year's effort will attempt to share actual job seekers' stories via video vignettes via social media in a cause marketing campaign called 'Reemployment'. For every 53 retweets, Fifth Third will fund a job searching coaching package for another unemployed person. To date, 43 additional job seekers have been helped with 2279 retweets.

Our Take:

This cause marketing campaign offers an excellent example of how social media can be used for good. In an era where mistrust of financial institutions is high, Fifth Third astutely  identified the root cause of mortgage default among its own customer base - unemployment - and then provided meaningful assistance to help customers get back on their feet. Using social media to share authentic stories of real people in need of work (instead of promoting the bank's own agenda) is highly effective and eminently shareable. Importantly, the social media effort and carrot to provide additional job coaching packages for retweets is layered on top of an existing foundation of support from the bank. Using this model, the bank shows the good that's already being done and asks for help in sharing stories as well as assisting additional job seekers.