A few weeks ago, I wrote a guest post on using cause marketing to promote your brand rather than just using the same old promotional ideas.
One of the comments reminded me of a great cause that I’ve always admired. Tide deserves a pat on the back for their wonderful cause marketing efforts, which have been seeing a lot of action lately.
Tide’s Loads of Hope has been around since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, and since then has been traveling across the country to help devastated areas affected by natural disasters. They’ve visited Fargo, North Dakota after the flooding they experienced; Galveston, Texas after Hurricane Ike struck; San Diego, California in 2008 after the dangerous wildfires took hold, and several other places nationwide too.
Proctor & Gamble wanted to do something to help these devastation-struck areas, so they decided to use their revenue, resources, and products to give assistance. If you’ve ever survived a natural disaster, then you probably agree that even the littlest things can make a huge difference!
What is “Loads of Hope” and how does it help a good cause?
When a disaster strikes in the United States, Tide’s giant orange truck and a fleet of vans arrive on the scene. Those vehicles house over 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers. They set up a mobile laundromat where people can drop off their clothing, and volunteers stand by to wash, dry and fold it all for them. Later, they come by to pick it up. For those affected by a disaster, it’s a huge help! After all, who wants to deal with laundry in order to have something clean to wear while dealing with insurance claims the next day? With their mobile laundromat, Tide is able to do over 300 loads of laundry every day, and considering the average household does 392 loads a year, this is quite a remarkable feat.
For many of our readers, the Flood of ‘96 may not ring any bells; however, anyone living in the Midwest will certainly remember. In July of that year, Aurora, Illinois (where QLP is headquartered) saw 16.91 inches of rain fall in a 24-hour period. The U.S. Department of the Interior declared 13 Illinois counties as state disaster areas and 11 counties were declared federal disaster areas. That meant a lot of washed-out basements and ruined laundry rooms! If you experienced that, then you know how wonderful it is to have clean clothing to put on.
How can I use Tide’s idea for my business?
Alright, you’ve listened to my backstory and you’re wondering what tips your company can take away for your cause marketing efforts, right? You don’t have to be a multi-billion-dollar company in order to give back. Heck, you don’t even have to give back on a national scale — you can give back to your community if you so choose. Every little bit helps, no matter how much money, time, or effort you give, and you’ll make a difference in someone’s life as a result.
If you run brick-and-mortar stores, then you can sell certain products and promise a portion of the sale to the cause you have chosen. Whichever product you choose will determine how much you give. I’d suggest going with a popular product that people would buy anyway, which will give them even more incentive to buy more.
Also, consider whether you want your donation to come from an existing product or from a limited-time product. Neither route you take is the wrong one, because both will bring in money to the cause, but it’s up to you to decide which one would perform better. If your customers would be skeptical of buying a new product even though it would help others, then go with existing product jazzed up with a new label or package. As long as your chosen cause is getting funds, that’s all that matters!
What can I do to help their cause?
As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of Tide’s Loads of Hope campaign. If you’re a fan too, there are ways you can help them with their mission to bring a small comfort of having clean clothes after a disaster strikes:
- You can buy “specially marked” packages of Tide laundry detergent. A portion of each sale goes to help them with their mission.
- Make a donation at their Loads of Hope donation page.
- Buy a cool looking vintage Tide t-shirt and $4 from each sale goes toward helping families affected. Plus, wearing it may get others around you involved, too!
We always think of giving back during the holiday season when we’re promoting goodwill towards men (or when we think a certain man up in the North Pole is watching us). But honestly, there’s never a wrong time to help others. Your company can be an excellent example of that philosophy by adopting a cause marketing campaign for your next promotion!
For a smaller-scale example of cause marketing, check out what QLP did last year for our TAILS Humane Society promotion!
What do you think of Tide’s idea? Do you think other companies should mimic Loads of Hope with other causes? What would you suggest? Sound off below!