If you’re considering launching a cause marketing program in your own company, or if you’re simply curious as a consumer to learn more about how exactly cause marketing works, you are not alone! From Starbucks to Subway, companies are aligning with causes to help boost their brands and, simultaneously, boost their social impact.

Cause marketing’s growth has been fueled in large part by consumers. Indeed, 72% of consumers in the United States report that they are inclined to buy products from companies whose values align with theirs. Consumers feel they’re helping address global issues when they support companies that align with causes.

You’ll be glad to know that cause marketing is subject to legal standards that apply generally to preventing consumers from being misled by false claims and advertising, including ensuring that the money winds up in the right place

If you tend to be a cautious consumer, here’s what to look for if you’re considering whether to purchase a product that supports a cause:

  • Does the cause resonate with you? You’ll feel better about your purchase if you care even just a little bit about the cause.
  • Does the cause seem to be aligned with the brand? For example, a pet food company that supports animal shelters makes sense. But maybe it does not make sense if a pet food company is supporting the arts. It still might be a fit; it’s simply worth considering.
  • Do you really need or want the product? This seems obvious, but it is amazing how frequently we overlook this basic threshold!
  • Does the fine print on the product packaging, or perhaps a write up on the company’s website, sound legitimate in terms of the company’s commitment and support of the cause it’s promoting?

As always, the Winona Community Foundation is here to connect you with causes you care about. So, if cause marketing has inspired you, please reach out! We’ll help you turn that philanthropic passion into local action.