The Case for Cause

Experiential Marketing for Purpose-Driven Brands

A decade ago, when Jeff Snyder launched Inspira, there were few purpose-driven brands, and even fewer purpose-driven experiential marketing agencies (we’re still the only one!). Today, brands are increasingly embracing social – and even political causes – to build emotional connections with consumers. While aligning with a cause or issue can be a great way to connect with consumers, marketers must choose their cause or issue carefully to ensure that it is authentic to the brand – or risk coming across as insincere, or worse, trying to profit from a cause.

What You Say Matters, What You Do Matters More

A recent study revealed that 55% of consumers believe that rather than just selling products and services, brands should be a force for good in the world. In fact, 57% of Millennials agree that marketers should use the brand’s voice to raise awareness of social or ethical issues. Similarly, 55% of Generation Z consumers say they choose brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. While saying it in an ad or on social media is one thing, doing it is another. Creating brand-sponsored events that bring awareness and action on behalf of the cause it’s aligned with builds credibility and trust with consumers.

How to Choose the Right Cause for Your Brand

First, ask yourself why you’re doing this. Do you genuinely want to make the world a better place, or are you just aligning with a cause because it’s the trendy thing to do? Consumers can immediately tell if your message is authentic, so it’s essential that marketers take the time to do some soul-searching before embarking on a cause-marketing platform. What is your brand passionate about? How does your brand authentically engage with the world? Don’t try to be everything to everyone – focus on one purpose that feels right for your brand. This will guide you to select a cause or issue that genuinely aligns with your purpose.

Create A Culture of Good

Beyond your external marketing efforts, it’s essential for brands to create a corporate culture that lives and breathes your mission. While you can embrace causes and create messages related to them, doing so also holds companies accountable for their own business practices and compels them to reflect on their own corporate culture. Making sure that business practices are consistent with corporate culture can help you avoid a PR nightmare.

When done well, brands can build more than just trust and affinity with consumers – they can build lifelong loyalty. Experiential marketing for purpose-driven brands can help to bring your mission to life and do good for the causes closest to your heart. Read about the work that we’ve done for Life is Good, or see how we helped the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and contact us today to discover how we can help bring your brand to life.

Sources: Campaign U.S. Young People Still Have a Big Appetite for Purpose-Driven Brands, Survey Finds 2018; National Retail Federation Gen Z Brand Relationships Authenticity Matters

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