Marketing With A Cause

In order to grow a large successful enterprise, there are many areas that your company must address which combine together to form the elements necessary for success. First, the foundation for success must be based on the company’s commitment to a unique, “service to mankind” orientated product line that is highly consumable. Of nearly equal importance, however, is the Mission Statement which forms the “Soul” of the company. It is that philanthropic commitment and intangible belief system that makes Multi-Level Marketing companies different from most traditional companies. In order to still act as a bonding agent between distributor and company, rarely can the mission statement of a company be based on financial rewards alone. Because, as soon as the next “new money deal” comes along, distributors are lured toward the promise of increased profits or easy money.

People Love a Worthy Cause. One of the things that separate humankind from the animal kingdom is that we all want to make a difference and a contribution that will make this world a better place for our families, our friends and all people. Part of our human character wants to do something meaningful with our lives. Most of us feel that we are to some extent “our brothers keeper” whether we acknowledge it our not. We know that there are those that need our help but may feel helpless to do anything about it.

It was three decades ago when Bob Dylan first sang the words “The times, they are a changin’.” Well, the times are still a changin’ — even faster and more furious than ever. And it appears that the change is for the better.

Of all places, this latest revolution is coming from, Corporate America. Big business is rising to the challenge of social relevance, in the most amazing conversion since Ebeneezer Scrooge.

This move toward global responsibility, for example, was made magnificently manifest by Ted Turner’s “no-strings-attached” gift of one billion dollars to the United Nations. And it wasn’t only altruism — the media mogul’s gift was an exercise in what marketing analysts are calling, “philanthropic Economics.”

Simply put, informed investors and marketers are finding that kindness and goodness sell. Advertising agencies and public relations firms are impressing on their clients, more and more, that consumers just feel better about buying from a company with a heart.

Savvy marketers now realize that sponsoring some deserving cause, while at the same time selling their product or service, is endearing them to their customers. Global awareness is the order of the day — greed is out.

There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon, but the most basic is a matter of human survival. Our earth is endangered with problems we simply can’t ignore, no matter what our socio-political persuasions may be. We’re realizing that as a race we are renters, and Mother Nature is sending the people of this planet a notice: “Quit trashing the property, or get evicted.”

Consider these following global and social challenges:

* Illiteracy

* Poverty stricken minority communities

* Environmental abuse

* AIDS Homelessness

* Wildlife and habitat destruction

* Low quality education systems

* Elderly neglect Child abuse

Lest the planet parish, these dilemmas must be fixed. But who’s in charge of the repairs? Over the years, society has pretty well left these challenges to government agencies, non-profit organizations and churches. That is to say, the bucks to battle the badness plaguing this planet came from car washes and bake sales. Well, that’s changing. Now, business is stepping in to help shoulder the load. To be sure, their motivation isn’t always purely altruistic — the consumer demands it.

Today’s consumer is more inclined to seek solutions, and they are wide awake to what’s wrong in the world. Because they are more socially and global conscious, they tend to avoid companies whom they see as willing to sacrifice the future of humanity on the altar of greed. The new reality is: Corporations must either align with the expectations of socially sensitive consumers or be left in the dust of their more enlightened competitors. Companies that do align themselves with worthy causes and respond to issues affecting their customers, on the other hand, are being rewarded at the cash register.

Here are a couple more examples of companies that have turned their cause into cash:

The Body Shop — An $800-million cosmetics company founded by Anita Roddick, The Body Shop has earned a loyal clientele using recyclable packages, refusing to sell products tested on animals and buying materials from underdeveloped areas to improve their standard of living.

Ben and Jerry’s Homemade ANC — Founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield and located in Waterbury Vermont, this company built an $80-million business helping local dairymen by buying milk and cream locally. To meet their sense of social responsibility, they set up the Ben and Jerry Foundation which gives 7.5 percent of pretax profits to nonprofit organizations.

So Who’s Leading the Way? It is entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of this economic revolution — and it shouldn’t surprise you. After all, entrepreneurs are, defined as “enlightened capitalists”. The entrepreneurial mind is resourceful and creative. They must, of necessity, look for ways continually to improve their products, packaging and presentations. It is only natural that an entrepreneurial organization, cause driven to begin with, would incorporate the concept of philanthropic economics into the mission of their business.

The most prominent of all cause driven entrepreneurial entities would have to be Multi-Level Marketing. MLM is capturing the hearts and minds of enlightened capitalists around the world; in the same way that franchising has moved from the fringes of free enterprise into the mainstream of commerce.

It may be, in fact, that the reason for the rapid rise in Multi-Level is that the very soul of MLM is tied to a cause. It is a belief system that makes Multi-Level Marketing companies different from the traditional direct selling organization. The foundation for success in Multi-Level Marketing is typically based on the MLM company’s commitment to a unique, highly consumable “help-to-humanity” service or product.

Multi-Level leaders have found that material gain and money are simply not enough to bond company and distributor. They could be easily enticed by every new money deal that comes along, if money were all that mattered to the distributor. However, their own lives are impacted by that company’s health product, so they want to share the good news with the world.

It’s a mission that goes beyond money. MLM distributors are galvanized by a sense of destiny. There are three things, it’s been said, that you should never argue about with someone: 1) their politics, 2) their religion and 3) their vitamin supplements. Why is this? Because these are loyalties that are not financially based. Attach a “cause” in which they can get behind and the synergy you can create is amazing. Talk about dynamic! The air is charged with a contagious, almost missionary zeal for one’s company, service or product.

This might be an important “moral” from all this: Your company should consider associating with a cause and social conscience. These kinds of companies are proven to have more staying power in the marketplace. The bottom line is, people like to do business with companies that do well by doing good.