Business conceptsMarketing

Understanding Cause Related Marketing with examples

It is 24th June, 2020, if you are someone who observes brands very closely, you’d notice all the big brands out there have changed the color of their logos. With this piece we’ll try to understand what cause related marketing is, when it started and what benefits it entails for a company.

What is Cause Marketing?

As simple as it sounds, Cause-Related Marketing is a CSR activity which has two primary purposes. The first one obviously is to support a cause. If you’re curious as to why we’re seeing the colourful logos of brands on Social media platforms, it is because companies are trying to showcase their support for the LGBTQ community. The other reason for Cause-Related marketing is obviously profits. But before we understand how about profits, let’s trace the history of Cause-Related Marketing.

Types of Cause Related Marketing activities
A swift history of cause Marketing

The existence of Cause-Related Marketing is as old as humans itself, albeit in a greedier way. However, the actual known appearance of Cause-related marketing dates back to 1960s-70s; Especially in the 1970s when Bruce Burtch, a cause marketing pioneer, organized fundraisers between Marriott Corporation and the March of Dimes. It took steam in 1983 when American Express coined the term cause-related marketing in a campaign to restore the statue of liberty. Not a lot of brands were doing this back then.

In 2002, starts a Cause Marketing Forum which awarded top cause marketers. In 2006, TOMS shoes and Product RED start their cause marketing programs. Fast forward to today, given the success, the companies have achieved, Cause-related Marketing is becoming a revolution. Only becoming more relevant with time.

Benefits of Cause Related Marketing

A study indicated that 92% of the consumers would buy a product that supports either the environmental or social cause. TOMS would be the perfect example here. The company had annual growth (for 5 years running) of 300%, selling nearly 10million pairs of shoes.


TOMS had a one-on-one model. So, if you buy one pair of their shoes – they would donate a new pair to a child in need. Directly connects, does it not? If you’re anyway going to buy a pair, why not help someone who needs a pair too. Love the model! Unfortunately, TOMS failed, given they diversified their portfolio for the things (Sunglasses, etc.) that weren’t directly related to the cause. Another reason was that a lot of companies now entered the market, doing the same thing – yet selling their shoes cheaper. This brings us to our second finding from the study. 91% of consumers were likely to switch to a brand that supports a good cause, given similar price and quality.

And, this is what most likely happened with the TOMS. Anyway, while the study was being conducted back in 2013, 67% of the participants said they did both of the above in the last 12 months. That is, they switched their brands OR bought products that supported an environment or social cause in one way or the other.

Now you see why Cause marketing is important? We’re sure you do!

The Pride month

Let us understand the history of why June is celebrated as the Pride month.

The Pride Month, June, commemorates the ongoing strive for equal justice for the LGBTQ community. It is the time where the birds sing of the achievements of the LGBTQ community. It all started back in 1969 in NY, United States when police raided an establishment which was a popular gathering spot for the LGBTQ community. And naturally, protests and demonstrations by the gay rights activists followed for equality of laws towards the community. This led to a huge march on June 28, 1970, exactly a year later the raid, which was marked as the first anniversary of the “gay pride”.  More and more individuals started joining the march every year – showcasing their acceptance towards the community and hence equal rights.

And today,

We see that, the brands around the world are now supporting the cause by either changing their logos, introducing merchandise, and campaigns. Including us 🙂

The real change, however, can only be brought by not looking at the community any differently. The colours in the pride flag only indicate that we’re all equal in a society at any given point. There’s a lot that can be changed.


You can only change the society by changing thyself!


The piece was put together by Yash Thakker, hope you liked it! You can get these powerful pieces in your inbox for FREE, just by subscribing here.

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