Creating Meaningful Movements for Good

The following article is a guest post by David Hessekiel, president of Cause Marketing Forum.

UpstandersUnilever marketing director and mastermind behind Vaseline’s Healing Project, Kathleen Dunlop says that brands must, “Give people a reason (to care)…and a way (to get involved)” when tackling social good. This is precisely what the Vaseline brand did in partnership with dermatologists working overseas once they discovered their product served as a very basic but unmet need in war-torn countries.

In order to earn consumer and employee engagement, it’s not enough for companies to simply cut a check anymore. Effectiveness soars when brands authentically engage people in a social movement.

For example, Starbucks has recently launched a content marketing web series called ‘Upstanders‘ featuring real stories of ordinary citizens that create extraordinary impact by refusing to be bystanders. The content is engaging, emotional and cause-centric, but far from traditional. Their goal? To create a “movement of people determined to make positive change”.

Doritos recently released a new limited-edition bag of (no) chips, this time in support of Rock the Vote. In a clever twist, the limited-edition bags are empty, helping people understand that if they don’t vote, they don’t get a choice. Doritos is encouraging fans to order a bag of ‘No Choice’ Doritos and send them to someone not registered to vote as a friendly reminder.

Whether you sit on the company or cause side of the fence, it’s critical to examine your own content and how you’re asking consumers and employees to engage with your brand.  Are you creating a true movement or a short-lived effort that will quickly fade into the background?