of global consumers agree that busi - ness must play a role in addressing societal issues. There are several big-name brands that have seen an increase in brand loyalty through “portion of purchase” cause marketing. Namely, Star - bucks. Starbucks teamed up with (RED) almost ten years ago and continues the partnership to date. Their prom- ise is to donate 10 cents for every beverage sold (recognizably in red cups). The strategy has raised over $14 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS. So, what enhances brand loyalty? The red cup. Consumers view the red cup as a sign of their commitment to Starbucks’ efforts in supporting AIDS research. And they show that loyalty through social media. Back in 2013, when Starbucks launched their new holiday drinks, in conjunction with the red cups, they saw a huge spike in social media engagement. In the first 48 hours after the cups were released, a photo was shared on Instagram every 14 seconds, according to Starbucks. In our times, nothing screams brand loyalty more than incessant social media posts. If you combine consumer engage - ment on social media with the later enlisted #redcupcontest on Insta - gram, you have brand loyalty coming out of thin air (literally). PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION Every brand strives to sell a unique product or service. But sometimes, what is more important than a unique product or service is whether it has a social purpose. According to studies, when quality and price is equivalent, social purpose is the number-one deciding factor for con - sumers globally.

TOMS proves it. There are millions of shoe companies in the world. But TOMS tops the list because of their commitment of “One For One.” For every pair of shoes you buy, TOMS donates a pair. Why buy elsewhere if you can buy from TOMS and give a pair of shoes to a child in need? For TOMS, it’s not just a market - ing campaign, it’s a business model. The differentiation comes in the social impact—64 percent of shop - pers say simply giving money away isn’t enough; they want businesses to integrate social impact directly into their business models. TOMS redefined cause marketing for retail brands. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS said in an interview: “I think [TOMS one for one model] is incredibly sus - tainable. Built into our cost structure is the intention to provide great ben - efit to our customers because they feel like they’re getting to be part of something more than just a trans- action. More and more understand what the impact of their purchases are on the rest of the world. By doing that, we’re able to form more loyal customers; we’re attracting new customers. While we spend a ton of money on giving, we also feel that there’s a real return on that invest - ment.” INCREASED BOTTOM LINE What can cause marketing do to increase the bottom line? The answer is a lot. Here’s why. More than 40 percent of shoppers will pay extra for products and ser - vices from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. Simply, if your consum - ers are happy with your brand and your product, your bottom line will increase. And supporting causes is the #1 way to make your consumers

happy. Along the same lines, I personally believe what has been proven—that socially conscious organizations out - perform those solely committed to beating the competition. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND? Cause-based marketing is strate- gic. You don’t just give for the sake of giving. It’s part of your business model. If your brand is interested in developing a cause marketing strategy, make sure that it is indeed a strategy. Any brand considering a cause marketing push should first set business objectives, and “it’s the right thing to do” doesn’t qualify as a business objective. The most important thing for brands to do to measure success in cause marketing is to establish a business objective from day one. If you don’t have a business justifi - cation for doing a cause program, you’re doing it wrong. Whether that be increased sales, online engage - ment, brand loyalty, employee engagement or retention, market penetration or opening new markets, that business piece is critical to the continued success and sustainability of these efforts. •

Shawn Tiberio is a Marine Corps veteran, serving 10 years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. With multiple deployments over

the years and extensive training as an Ironman distance triathlete, entrepreneurship and mindset has become a must for Shawn. He is co-owner of Top Results Consulting, where he helps businesses and entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Check out his free master class and learn exactly how to target the correct prospects for your business at

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