An Anecdote For Cause Marketing

Peter_Gardner_web101 Peter Gardner, Senior Partnership Architect & Insights Developer

Today is Camp Day people. That means today across Canada Tim Horton’s restaurant owners will donate 100 per cent of proceeds from java sales to the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation (THCF). Raising a whopping $11.8-million in 2013, it should come as no surprise that Camp Day is far and away the single largest fundraising event for THCF every year.

Outside of this being an example of the AWESOME impact corporate Canada can have on community building, I wanted to share a short anecdote from today to show how cause marketing programs like Camp Day can impact consumers and be good for the bottom line.

At about 10 o’clock this morning I was jonesing for a second cup coffee – I know, I know, I have a bit of a coffee problem, but that’s not the story here – so I started recruiting and taking orders for our go-to coffee shop, which is conveniently located at the foot of our building. Two colleagues decided to join me for the quick trip and we barely made it to the elevator when Veronica said, “Hey guys, its June 4th. It’s Camp Day today. Why don’t we go to Tim Hortons?” Before the elevator made it up to the fourth floor, we made a quick about-face and marched back towards the office. We informed everybody of the new development, revised orders, and set back out on our coffee adventure. The decision to take our coffee business to Tim Horton’s added about 20 minutes and 1.5 Kilometers roundtrip to our commute according to Google Maps, and we bypassed at least five coffee competitors along the way. Not only that, but when we arrived at our chosen destination, we opened up our wallets a little more than originally planned, leaving the store with coffees in hand and box of Timbits to share with the rest of the team.

Not long after our return to the office, my coffee compatriots took to Twitter to share the spontaneous adventure.

Camp Day

My point? Cause marketing works, and when it’s done right, it can have a profound impact on consumers. Today, when we were given the opportunity to support a cause that mattered to us as consumers, we abandoned our coffee routine completely, changed our original purchase intent and adjusted the amount we were willing to spend, and shared the story with our personal communities, turning us into loyal brand advocates. And you know what? It felt pretty darn good.

Keeping in mind this is just one anecdote, programs like Camp Day are good for business and good for the community. Finding the right cause for your brand to get behind, however, takes a lot of care and consideration, and making it a part of your corporate DNA can be a tall order for even the savviest of brands. But when you get the formula right, the results can be staggering.

Said simply, invest in your community and your employees and consumers will love you for it. And that’s good for business.