We received some great questions at the end of our webinar ‘Being All In: How Insights Can Help Brands Hit the Right Note When Supporting Causes.’ We’d thought if our attendees were asking, more people are wondering about the same things when it comes to aligning your brand with a cause. Here are some answers.
What’s the best way to gauge important causes for your customers?
The best thing you can do is ask! You know your brand and target customer, and you’ll also have information at hand within your ‘insight vault.’ Gather all that information, build out a few hypotheses and then ask. You may need to choose one out of a few contenders, and it’s an important decision to make so ask your customers to find out what’s most relevant for them in the context of your brand. If the objective is to identify a cause that is important to your customers so your brand can develop a support program, it’s equally important that the cause is in line with your company’s values and beliefs. It needs to be personal to your brand. This is where the authenticity and being all-in feedback comes in so the support doesn’t feel like a commercial play.
Did you get a sense of which cases are most top of mind right now?
While we did ask about other causes in the survey we ran, such as environmental, health and animals in the screener, we didn’t dig beyond a general sense of support. As an indicator, however, animal rights topped the list with almost 40% saying they ‘strongly’ advocate or identify with this cause. Additionally, we found that millennials tend to back a wide range of causes supporting diversity and inclusion.
We always learn more from our “failures” than our successes. Do you have examples that have “missed” in their cause support attempts?
The most recent one that springs to mind is the 2017 Pepsi ad that tried to take on social injustice and racial inequality, but the execution was poor and the backlash tremendous. Starbucks also faced a similar fate with their #Racetogether campaign aimed to promote conversations around race relations. Another perhaps less well-known misfire came from Bic in South Africa, who looked to support Woman’s Day with an ill-conceived tagline ‘look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss.’
What spearheaded this piece of research?
Around Pride Month it was quite noticeable how many brands were nodding to the LGTBQ community with the rainbow flag in storefront windows and within advertising. We are in a more turbulent political atmosphere and even thinking back to the Super Bowl this year; many ads were dedicated to inclusivity, unity and love messages. So taking all of these ideas together, we wondered how people were feeling, and we were fortunate to be able to go in and ask.
Did you review the purchase intent by those who already identify as LGBTQ?
11% of our general population sample self-identified as LGBTQ. As expected, LGBTQ ads deeply affect this community. Done correctly (without playing to stereotypes) they can engender very positive brand feelings. The LGBTQ community strongly supports brands that support them. 54% reported increase purchase intent after seeing an LGBTQ ad, compared to 29% for those that only had a close LGBTQ friend and 10% for those that did not have an LGBTQ acquaintance. It’s also worth noting the exact number of LGBTQ in the US population is unknown, both due to definition changes and also social acceptability. Gallup estimates it at 4.5%, while others suggest it is closer to 10%. On the whole, a well-executed cause-related marketing strategy is more likely to provide positive upper funnel lift over time, so seeing positive movement around purchase, in this case, was encouraging.
How long did your LGBTQ brand study take to complete?
We received 1,500 responses in less than a week.
Any plans to dial up the study on a global scale (where appropriate)?
We are interested to return to the study next year to see whether perceptions have changed and may consider expanding the scope then.
Watch the on-demand webinar, Content Marketing and the Role of Insights: A Conversation with Courtney Kay: