13 April 2011 11 Comments

Brand marketing: how to make brand investment in cause count

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

There are several ways to engage in brand marketing. There is the old way of careless abandonment of real values. One great way do brand marketing well is through cause marketing. For those who know, it is one thing for brand to be involved in cause, it is another thing to use the cause as a marketing tool.cause marketing, cause communication, brand marketing, brand communication

 Any brand that is wholly committed to a great cause -which may range from social and environmental issues, is creating an indelible mark in the hearts of the target. A brand’s commitment to doing good will helps it achieve greater visibility and better understanding through thick and thins. Supporting a cause should not be viewed as a cool way of ‘bragging’ or a ‘me-too’ game. Cause sponsorship and investment should be seen as a veritable business strategy. Aside from the fact that cause marketing helps in brand building and ensuring solid relationship, being innovative with cause investment is highly desirable to get the best from the investment. Being innovative in cause investment today is no longer a necessity but highly important. Otherwise brand investment in the initiative will not offer right experience nor provoke targets action in favour of the brand.

One vital warning though is that investment in cause should not be without plan or strategy. The cause has to impact on the key targets’ psyche.

 While investment in cause is great, no value will be accrued to the brand except the cause is properly marketed and used as a brand’s ‘touching life’ point or evidence.To do this properly, cause marketing communication is important for showing impact. In a recent 2010 Cone cause evolution study, non-strategic cause investment and inability to effectively communicate brand’s investment in great causes are responsible for lack or low returns from cause impact the brand could have gained.

One other factor is that lack of transparent communication of cause investment may also affect ROI. The study above shows that many cause investment are not properly communicated or marketed. This was shown to have robbed many brands enough recognition as cause sponsors.

Transparency is another key factor. Many brands spend much fund in brand cause communication. This cost of communicating cause investment is seen as fraudulent since investment in the cause itself is minimal.

An important factor to take away from the above is: communicate or lose returns. Many potential may be compelled to join your consumers because of the cause investment and marketing. To get the best, a strategy must be in place to effectively, constantly showcase result of investment in a cause. This may sound simple but it is complex and requires expertise to do it with finesse.

Let us re-establish this again, great cause investment, marketing and communication helps brands gain brand differentiation, brand engagement, loyalty and a rewarding relationship. Having said this, one-off cause impact communication or advertising is a total waste of investment as target may not see or be aware of it. Also a lip service investment in a cause also does not give any premium. It is either you are here or there. In our environment, MTN Nigeria investment in medical facility for hospitals and child care needs commendation. Also, BrandGavel Community and Michael sage consulting is now involved in Child Right and potential advocacy. Impacts can been seen here. New more grounds need to be broken, so we encourage volunteers and sponsors to help us reach our goal.

11 Responses to “Brand marketing: how to make brand investment in cause count”

  1. freelance web design jobs 18 April 2011 at 1:46 am #

    The importance of investing cannot be overstated. Money is a fluid thing. Something worth one dollar one day could cost significantly more the next day. This is because history shows us that things always cost more over time. When you view this dynamic over years and decades, it becomes obvious that doing nothing with your money will cause it to lose its buying power. It is therefore important to invest to make your money grow rather than shrink.

    • yinkaolaito 18 April 2011 at 9:44 am #

      @freelance, thanks for your usual insighful discussion

  2. Pandora australia 10 May 2011 at 10:15 am #

    The study above shows that many cause investment are not properly communicated or marketed.

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