Is it really worth it for a company to
stand for something?
I can’t imagine my life without .
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your brand was the answer? “Our decision 13 years ago to
Cause branding can make your brand irreplaceable because when
you stand for something greater than your bottom line, people stand
partner with our customers to
with you. Our experience shows us that successful cause branding end breast cancer says more
is when you are able to bring together your brand identity with a about our brand than anything
consumer passion and a unique cause opportunity.
else we do.”
When building great cause branding campaigns, we start by getting
to know the brand and the customer and both of their needs. We
Vice President, Marketing
have a fine-tuned process we are very proud of, but the reality is
each time we help a company build a cause campaign the process
becomes uniquely their own.
of companies today have The Chief Marketing Officer Challenge
a cause program.
As CMOs are challenged with differentiating
their brands, many are embracing the strategy
of cause branding and see it as more than a
of CMOs say they view philanthropic effort. Why?
cause as a valid
business strategy. Cause branding is driving sales, trial and traffic.
The challenge for CMOs is to find the right
cited an increase in sales cause for their brand – the place where they can
traffic due to their brand’s
uniquely make an impact – and figure out how to
association with a
maintain the effort for the long term so the brand
truly feels the positive impact of its cause efforts.
Source: 2009 PRWeek/Barkley Cause Survey
A mother of two stands in the grocery store looking at
the sea of diaper brands from which to choose. They
all tout the same benefits at virtually the same cost. Giving back remains high on
Later she drives down the street and tries to decide
whether to turn left or right into a convenience
consumer’s to-do lists –
store – each one offers the same price of gas. especially for Moms
Cause branding seems to hit home with one of the most coveted
Sameness abounds and consumers aren’t making
consumer segments who is more interested than ever in giving
their purchasing decisions based solely on a
back and leaving a meaningful legacy – moms. The 2009
product’s price and quality anymore.
Barkley/PR Week Cause Survey showed that as her personal
giving habits decrease due to the economy, she is looking
Today consumers want to know to companies to partner with her in that effort. She expects
the values behind the company. companies to give back, and rewards the ones that do.
They ask themselves, “Do I trust
this company? Does it deserve 85.6%
my business?” say it’s important 76.8%
for companies to
support a cause. 69.2% would recommend
a brand that
% would try a brand supports a cause.
The unstable economy has caused consumers to would pay more
supports a cause.
for a brand that
think long and hard about every dollar they spend, supports a cause.
and they actually consider their patronage a vote
for that company.
For companies, this is a tough situation. They just Transparency is critical to her, and it is important that companies
can’t ask themselves how their brands can stand follow up with her to communicate how her hard-earned dollar
out. They need to find ways to connect with their has helped. Once that connection is made, she becomes a
customers beyond the sale, in a more meaningful believer in the brand and their partnership makes the brand an
and relevant way. irreplaceable part of her life.
Smart companies are turning to a concept that
BRAND BRAND More than half of the moms
has been around for 25 years, but is just gaining
surveyed said they have
traction as a valid business strategy. Cause branding purchased a brand because
it supports a cause.
introduces the customer to the brand’s soul, and in
this troubled economy, philanthropic activity is one of
Source: 2009 PRWeek/Barkley Cause Survey
the best relationship and business builders around.
Let us help you make
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org your brand irreplaceable.
CASE STUDY: MArCh Of DIMES
ChALLENGE: ChANGE brAND PErCEPTION AND rECONNECT WITh MOM
Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes (MOD) has an impressive list of achievements. However,
MOD was struggling to make its message and mission relevant to today’s mom, and had in fact
come to represent the problem of sick babies rather than the positive work it does to create
healthy ones. Over time, this iconic nonprofit with 99 percent brand awareness had dropped to an
all-time low of 9 percent in unaided awareness. It was critical that MOD connect in a meaningful
way with moms.
INSIGhT: STArTLING STATISTICS
• 31% - Percentage of premature birth increase from 1981 to 2003
• 55% - Percentage of consumers who don’t see prematurity as a problem
• 22% - Percentage of unaided awareness of MOD among consumers in 1993
• 9% - Percentage of unaided awareness of MOD among consumers in 2006
These four statistics from The Gallup Organization 2006 National Brand Study drove our decision
to conduct extensive qualitative research with internal audiences, corporate sponsors, medical
professionals, donors and, most importantly, moms. The research provided valuable insights into
how the brand is perceived, what’s really important to a mom regarding her baby’s health, and the
lack of understanding of the risks of prematurity and birth defects.
The lack of consumer relevance also hurt the brand’s corporate partnerships. In addition to making
it difficult to secure new partners, MOD was in danger of losing several of their top existing
corporate partners who brought in millions in revenue each year.
STrATEGY: STAND fOr A SOLUTION
The creative objective was to modernize the image of MOD and make the brand more relevant to
moms by aligning with their values and interests. The communication focus had to highlight the
solution, and we created a new brand tone and personality to reflect that. The brand had to be
relatable with a personal and passionate tone.
The mission has not changed, just the way it is communicated: MOD works tirelessly toward the
day when all babies are born healthy.
ExECUTION: rEAChING MOMS IN NEW PLACES
The fully integrated campaign includes sign, print, television, radio, PR, a refreshed Web site to
reflect the new brand look, and rebranding of WalkAmerica to March for Babies with new logo,
print, theater slide, outdoor, bus shelter, television, radio and PR. In addition, an award-winning
CASE STUDIES (cont’d)
campaign site was developed as a fresh inspiration and landing page where television brand
spots and print brand PSAs direct consumers (marchofdimesbaby.org*).
For the first time in MOD history we added a paid media schedule to complement the 2008 PR and
PSA initiatives. Paid media targeted the broad-reaching “moms” target to maximize reach and
impact. The PR and PSA initiatives were primarily focused on “new” and “expecting” moms.
Through Barkley’s Context Mapping™ process, we found that moms use online media not only
to get information for the family, but also to gain social currency, so we focused placements
on sites that delivered both of these needs for her. To maximize the plan, we put an emphasis
on integrating the MOD brand into the sites. All of the online placements drove traffic to the
MOD campaign site, marchofdimesbaby.org, where the target could get more information and
eventually link back to the marchofdimes.org site.
Additionally, Barkley created a targeted corporate outreach presentation and trained MOD staff to
sell MOD from a position of strength and focus on their brand and not just events.
rESULTS: A CAMPAIGN TO rALLY ArOUND
First-quarter comparison results, according to the Gallup Poll, showed mission awareness
with moms increased 12 percent, while unaided awareness increased to 15 percent from
an all-time low of 9 percent in 2006—a 67 percent increase.
The campaign has received incredible responses from MOD staff, volunteers and their corporate
sponsors. We also have received extremely successful media relations results including positive
stories in The Washington Post and The New York Times, and on “CNN Nancy Grace,” “Fox and
Friends” and “Inside Edition” among others.
Marchofdimesbaby.org has already won several awards, including a Gold Addy in the public service
category and Adobe’s Site of the Day on January 17, just one day after the brand launch, and was
a finalist in the prestigious One Show. Additionally, the refreshed print PSAs are going placements
in national publications previously unavailable to MOD including O, The Oprah Magazine, Redbook,
Cosmopolitan, and Latina to name a few, successfully reaching a previously untapped audience.
Corporate outreach has improved vastly as well. MOD maintained all of their current corporate
partners who renewed with increased energy and support, and they have significantly increased
meetings with new corporate partners and are in discussions now for new programs.
CASE STUDIES (cont’d)
CASE STUDY: LEE NATIONAL DENIM DAY
ChALLENGE: MAINSTrEAM ThE CASUAL WOrK ENVIrONMENT TO SELL MOrE LEE JEANS
In 1995, Lee Jeans approached Barkley with a problem its advertising agency could not solve. How
could Lee take advantage of the growing trend of casual Fridays and more casual dress codes in the
workplace to sell more denim?
A secondary challenge was that existing research showed low perception of the Lee brand by female
consumers aged 24–49. This was the exact consumer segment Lee had asked Barkley to target in an
effort to leverage the casual workplace and sell more denim.
INSIGhT: WOMEN WANT brANDS TO GIVE bACK
Barkley made wearing jeans to work about supporting a cause, not just about making a fashion
statement. There was substantial data showing consumers who believe in a cause are loyal to
companies that support the same cause. This connection is even more pronounced with women.
“Our decision 14 years
Barkley identified the growing momentum around the breast cancer cause in the mid-1990s as a
ago to partner with
potential affiliation for Lee. Society was overcoming the taboo of not talking about breast cancer. This
our customers to end movement, coupled with the increasing profile of women in positions of corporate power, led Barkley
breast cancer says down a path of creating a cause branding program instead of a traditional marketing campaign.
more about our brand Barkley developed Lee National Denim Day, a one-day event challenging companies nationwide to
than anything participate by letting employees wear denim to work in exchange for a $5 donation to the Women’s
else we do.” Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The strategy behind Lee National Denim
Day is to empower individuals to join in the fight against breast cancer. Thousands of offices,
—Liz Cahill schools, firehouses and other social networks participate every year on the first Friday of October.
Vice President, Marketing
Lee Jeans ExECUTION: CELEbrITY SPOKESPEOPLE TO GrASS-rOOTS LOCAL EVENTS
To support Lee National Denim Day, Barkley develops an annual strategic communications plan
with tactical executions for identifying a national celebrity spokesperson, print advertising, direct
mail and media relations campaigns targeting key women’s publications, major dailies and fashion
trades, national television interviews, and satellite television and radio media tours with Lee and
The celebrity spokesperson is a key strategy for Lee because it helps break through the clutter of
breast cancer programs and reinforces the brand as fashionable.
CASE STUDIES (cont’d)
Ideas have expiration dates. An ongoing challenge is how to keep Lee National Denim Day relevant
with consumers every year. Since 1996, Barkley has constantly refreshed Lee National Denim Day by
aligning with new beneficiaries (moving from Susan G. Komen for the Cure to the Women’s Cancer
Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation), using new celebrity spokespeople, increasing
its online presence and outreach every year, and targeting new professional associations and social
organizations for enhanced promotion and outreach.
In 2007, Barkley established an online hub allowing individuals around the country to join as teams
for fundraising, initiating a dedicated social media strategy and collaborating with the Society for
Human Resource Management (SHRM) to enhance Lee Denim Day communications and participation
in companies across America.
rESULTS: $75 MILLION AND A MEASUrAbLE IMPACT AT rETAIL
By positioning Lee Jeans as a facilitator and fundraising engine for the breast cancer cause, Barkley
was able to forge an emotional connection between Lee and its target consumer. This emotional
connection enhanced the perception of the brand and positively impacted denim sales.
In 1996, 4,000 companies participated in Lee National Denim Day, raising $1.4 million. In 2008,
more than 29,000 companies participated, bringing the 13-year total raised for the cause of breast
cancer to more than $75 million. Lee retailers benefit from a spike in sales every October when the
campaign is promoted. Lee brand tracking studies consistently show the following:
• 60 percent of women have a more favorable impression of the Lee brand from its sponsorship of
Lee National Denim Day
• 33 percent of women are more likely to buy Lee jeans due to Lee National Denim Day
• Women aware of Lee National Denim Day are more likely to have a better perception of the Lee
brand as fashionable
CASE STUDIES (cont’d)
CASE STUDY: brEAST CANCEr 3-DAY
ChALLENGE: DrIVE rEGISTrATION bY DIffErENTIATING frOM OThEr “PINK” PrOGrAMS
Barkley faced two main media relations challenges for the 2008 Breast Cancer 3-Day series:
1. Competition. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is a long-distance walk for breast cancer. It is the
largest competitor even though it is a two-day event with fewer miles and a lower fundraising
minimum ($1,800 per participant versus the Breast Cancer 3-Day’s $2,200). In 2008, Avon held
events in Boston and Chicago just two months before the Breast Cancer 3-Day events in those
markets. There is some brand confusion, and capturing the media’s attention as the city’s second
long-distance breast cancer event was challenging. The Breast Cancer 3-Day needed to find a way
to gain potential participants’ and donors’ attention amidst the Avon event and countless other
“pink” breast cancer programs.
2. Timing. Fundraising and training take four to six months on average as walkers commit to raising
$2,200 each and walking 60 miles. Because of the preparation time, the ideal time to raise
awareness of the event and drive registration is several months prior to the event. However, the
media is only interested in covering the event when it is happening, not six months prior during
the fundraising and training period. If the Breast Cancer 3-Day is covered only the weekend of the
actual event, it’s too late for viewers/readers/listeners to register in that year’s event.
SOLUTION: YEAr-rOUND CONVErSATIONS ThrOUGh TrADITIONAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA rELATIONS
1. Raise awareness of the event through proactive and consistent local and national media relations,
ultimately driving walker registrations. Demonstrate the event experience and emotion before the
event even takes place.
a. Desk sides. Visit key media outlets to showcase walker stories and videos, differentiate the event
and discuss editorial needs.
b. Media walkers. Invite media to participate in the event without the required fundraising fees.
Media then report on their experiences from training through the event with a vivid description
and emotion one could gain only from personal experience.
c. Minicamp walkers. Invite media to explore a “minicamp” experience. Media can walk without
fundraising fees for one day and camp out with walkers one night. They get to experience
KOMEN fOUNDATION’S brEAST CANCEr the feeling and emotion without training or walking all 60 miles. Most minicamp walkers come
3-DAY EVENTS back the next year wanting to walk all 60 miles and start promoting the event earlier in the year.
CASE STUDIES (cont’d)
2. Build Breast Cancer 3-Day buzz by creating Ambassadors, walkers who are brand
evangelists and have volunteered to tell their story publicly, arming them with tools to
spread awareness of the event with media and their communities.
3. Protect and enhance the image of the Breast Cancer 3-Day through differentiating
• “A unique, life-changing experience. It’s not for everyone. It’s for people who want to
commit completely to the challenge.”
• “The boldest step you can take in the breast cancer movement. The greatest
distance you can go in the fight against breast cancer.”
• “More than an event, it’s a community. It’s about the journey. It starts months in
advance and lasts a lifetime.”
• “Offers a new sense of accomplishment, confidence and personal strength.”
4. Engage participants and supporters in conversations about the Breast Cancer 3-Day
online by building and maintaining a presence in the social media space. Targeted
outlets include Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and bloggers interested in fitness and breast
rESULTS: A rECOrD-brEAKING YEAr
Barkley contributed to the registration of more than 37,000 walkers and more than 4,700
volunteer crew members raising more than $86 million, a record-breaking year for the event.
• More than five national placements were secured, including Health, Shape, Family Circle
and Women’s Health.
• Garnered 4,872 total media placements, a 39 percent increase over 2007, reaching an
audience circulation of more than 239 million, surpassing circulation from 2007 by
• Key message inclusion totals increased, and inclusion of www.the3day.org and/or
800-number was in more than 21 percent of earned media coverage.
• Blog post mentions, social network pages, social network groups, photos, videos,
podcasts and message board posts show a 265 percent increase in the 2008 calendar
year (57,647 total) over the audit figures (21,734 total).
Barkley was recently awarded a Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award of
Excellence for the work on the Breast Cancer 3-Day. The PRSA Silver Anvil is the highest
national award in the PR industry.
I my family
I my friends I my mom
I my family
I my husband
Join Christina and fight breast cancer
on Lee National Denim Day®. It’s as simple
as donating $5 and wearing jeans.
October 2, 2009
I my aunt I my doctors I Jill I Sundays
I my sister I a good fight
I silver linings
I my daughter
Christina Applegate 2009 Ambassador and breast cancer survivor.
One of every eight women will develop breast cancer
in her lifetime. Everyone can do something about it.
Sign up and share your
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