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BizReport : Advertising : November 18, 2010

Trending Now: Buying for a cause

Just one week until the United States Thanksgiving celebration and that means one thing: bell ringers are brick-and-mortar stores and cause campaigns online. According to the 2010 Cone Holiday Trend Tracker more consumers are looking for causes - and good buys - this holiday season.

by Kristina Knight

cone.pngThe report finds that:

• 89% of American consumers expect companies to support causes
• 78% want to be 'personally engaged' by brands' cause efforts
• 49% have made at least 1 purchase already this season to support a cause

"The holidays are a time when companies can go back to cause marketing basics, seamlessly integrating two traditions that define the season - shopping and giving," said Craig Bida, Executive Vice President of Cause Branding and Nonprofit Marketing at Cone. Read more about the study here. "Companies can use this time to raise mass amounts of awareness and dollars for critical issues through simple acts of consumer engagement...The season offers a prime window to reinforce cause-related messages, but today's savvy consumers also expect to know what you stand for throughout the year - year in and year out."

Most brands want consumers to buy their goods as well as support their causes, but what brands need to remember is good will. While many consumers will look for buys which give back - for example spending $50 in-store and having a portion given to a charity or cause - but consumers are also willing to give gifts, make straight donations at check-out or promote causes through their social networks.

While talking about the cause or giving a wrapped gift won't immediately impact the monetary goals of the season or the campaign, both of these options do create good will and may more deeply engage the consumer. When a buyer takes the time to buy a gift, wrap it and then bring it to a drop-off center, they begin thinking of the brand supporting the cause; that could bring them back into the store, whether an online or offline, more quickly. The same can be said about at-the-register donations or social media.

Social media, in fact, may have a bigger impact by notifying additional consumers about a brand's cause or project who may not have otherwise known about the offering.

Tags: 2010 Cone Holiday Trend Tracker, 2010 trends, cause marketing, Cone, holiday advertising

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