“Purpose is the new digital… good is the new cool” - School
Companies and campaigns with a social cause are popping up like daisies. This push for doing good while selling a good or service to incentivize sales is growing, and has almost become necessary. Non-profits, brands, and even restaurants are riding this trend to push shoppers to their product by relaying this “buy something for yourself, and do something good while you shop” message. Huddle even claims that millennials are 67% more likely to choose a brand that is socially responsible and gives back to the community.
One of the first companies fighting for their social mission to be a push for consumers to do good while they shop was (RED). (RED) partners with companies and brands around the world to produce special red products. With each purchase, 50% of the profits are donated to help treat and prevent AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through the Global Fund, the organization that fights the fight through these products profits. Companies like Apple, GAP, and Belvedere partner with (RED) to create these unique and exclusive products that incentivizing purchases because of the “good” the profits can do after that purchase. Over the past decade, (RED) products have raised $465 million and have impacted over 90 million lives.
Another social business model has been this ‘one for one’ trend that Toms made so popular. Bombas is a company that strived to solve two problems: (1) that there were not any great quality socks for a lower price and (2) that socks were the number one requested clothing item at homeless shelters. In response to this, they create an incredibly comfortable sock that supports and lasts, and, for every pair of socks purchased, another pair is donated. Bombas are designed for premium performance and comfort with “bee better” inscribed in every sock. They not only want to do good, but inspire good as well. They see these donations and this company as sharing and doing “acts of human kindness” through this product. When Randy and David started this company, their goal was 1 million pairs donated by 2020, they completed it by 2016 and have already passed 4 million donations to date.
TACOS 4 LIFE
Other companies are building personal connections with their consumers by involving them directly in the mission beyond purchase. Tacos 4 Life is a quirky southwestern/Mexican restaurant where for every taco, quesadilla or bowl purchased, a meal is donated to a national anti-hunger nonprofit, Feed My Starving Children, to provide for a child in Swaziland or Honduras. Through MobilePacks where customers and volunteers from the community pack the meals, Tacos 4 Life has used its restaurants to connect and drive sales even further. To date, Tacos 4 Life, LLC has raised 3+ million meals for hungry children around the world. From the purchase of the taco to the packing of the meal itself, customers can be a direct part of this mission and feel the impact of the company with their own two hands.
Some big corporations show their community outreach efforts by having seasonal or special days with a cause. Macy’s hosts an annual “shop with a cause” event where if you donate $5 to March of Dimes, they will give you a special 25% off deal throughout their entire stores for a weekend. They have expanded this cause marketing campaign through their online stores, in stores and special extra days of spending passes as well. The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that works to help prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. With their motto, “a fighting chance for every baby,” they partner with Macy’s to help make a difference in the lives of mothers and babies across the nation. Macy’s has raised more than $25 million to support the March of Dimes.
Some companies adapt to this social commerce by adding a donation option directly to the consumers shopping experience. Whether it is adding an option to cart, adding to the receipt, or shopping through a new lens, this is a ‘quick fix’ or easy addition for bigger companies who do not want, or need, to change their business structure. Amazon does a great and unique job at this with Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile is a way for Amazon to give while customers shop. When choosing to shop through smile.amazon.com, the customer can choose which charity they want to shop for. With no extra cost to the shopper, Amazon donates .5% to the charity chosen. .5% might not sound like much, but in 2015, AmazonSmile was revealed to have raised $12,868,013 for thousands of charities.
Another way companies give back is creating engagement opportunities with charitable incentives. Wendy’s partnered with Snapchat to create a temporary account that partnered with a customer using this filter on their Snapchat story. For each story, Wendy’s committed to donating $5 to Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) up to $500,000. The DTFA, founded by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, is a nonprofit organization with the goal to find permanent homes for children in the foster care system. Not only do these selfies raise money and awareness for the DTFA, but they spread Wendy’s passion for this organization and provides a call to action for their customers to be directly involved in Wendy’s donation efforts.
As this philanthropist shopping movement grows, companies are seeing the importance of sharing a purpose beyond their product and showing their consumers they are active in doing good. Because of this, businesses are adapting their models to this trend. It’s quickly becoming a necessity for companies to have or incorporate some sort of a social cause to their structure. Whether they’re donating a portion of profits from a product or partnering with an organization to do some good work, this trend will continue to grow and, hopefully, continue to impact the world and our shopper realm in a positive way.