Does "charity" help sell?

11 replies
So, on my local radio station yesterday was an ad for Electricity Maine.

They have an offer where, if you sign up with them, they'll give you 2% cash back at the end of the year.

And then 2% goes to those in need, who can't pay their electricity.

You're probably aware of Tom's shoes... when you buy a pair of shoes, they give a pair of shoes to the needy.

Now Skechers is doing the same with their "Bobs" shoe line.

Watching Conan last night, Snoop Dogg was on and he was talking about the business he started... a business selling dog food.

When you buy a bag of his dog food, he donates a bag to those shelters where overcrowding is an issue.

Is this a growing trend?

Do you think people REALLY buy for this altruistic reason?

We're always hearing how people are such selfish creatures... and you have to appeal to their own selfish interests.

I was curious about what you thought?

Is this something that's going to keep growing and more businesses will do this? Offer one to the needy when you buy one?
#charity #sell
  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Shawn, I think it still comes down to the product.

    Most are pretty savvy when it comes to marketing gimmicks...

    they'll still shop for the best value. The whole charity thing only adds a reason why to those who would already buy.

    Charity works as far as getting publicity...but publicity still only gets your prospective customer to check out your offer. Once they check it out, they'll still be looking for value in the product. If they decide to buy, the whole charity thing will make them feel good...if they don't buy, they'll just figure there'll be enough others who buy to help the charitable event.

    My opinion.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8775641].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JDWater
      Buying something while at the same time helping some makes the buyer feel good about their purchase.

      They get benefit of feeling helpful, charitable, righteous.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8775699].message }}
  • Also if a product is more or less like everyone else's.

    Try as you might there really is nothing to differentiate it.

    Then a charity donation can be the USP.


    P.S. Btw no harm whatsoever in giving a bit to charity even if the product is unique. As JD just said everyone benefits.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8776170].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Wytnyt
    It also kinda plays on people's desire to be a hero.

    Making the 'buying' deed a heroic act.

    Just like what happened after the calamity here.

    A lot of people pitched in with the donations and delivery of the relief goods. They say they just want to help out because they feel sorry for the victims.

    But when you're packing goods with the mass volunteers you'll hear from talking to them that they see it as a heroic act, and not so much as an act of charity.

    People want to be seen as heroes in front of other people, their kids and peers.

    Those with bad records feel they can wipe it clean by doing a heroic deed like donating to charity or volunteering.

    Speaking of this hero desire...

    A local ad agency tried to use this desire to get people to look at call center jobs a different way.

    The general public looks at people who work at call centers as lowlifes. I don't know how that got started but here you'll hesitate before telling everyone you work in this industry because of how people look at it, even though it pays really well.

    Here's the TVC where they turned working in a call center as being heroic for the country and their loved ones.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8776747].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    I was talking to my wife about this today and she told me the fact that Newman's Own donates a lot of its profits to charity usually will be the deciding factor when she buys items at the grocery store.

    So, Max5ty, I think you're right... it still has to be a good product, regardless.

    I love the taste of almost all Newman's Own products... so it's an easier decision. If their stuff tasted like sh*t, I probably wouldn't care as much if they donate their profits to charity.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8776893].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Do you think people REALLY buy for this altruistic reason?

      We're always hearing how people are such selfish creatures... and you have to appeal to their own selfish interests.

      I was curious about what you thought?
      Altruism is a core emotional benefit... and is alive and well

      Given the choice between two otherwise equal products, many people choose the company that gives to charity.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8776979].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author annajohnson
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8778784].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author smwordsmith
      I agree with Alex- all things being equal, I would purchase the product that offers a charitable giving.

      If money were no object, I would opt to buy the higher-priced product if something charitable was 'attached'.

      Years ago, when company owners were residents in the city where their company was located, the owners were always giving back to the community- building parks, schools, gyms,community centers, etc. That ended when more locally owned companies were swallowed up by huge corporations with no connection to the local communities. And it is missed in many communities. Sure, corporations do give, but not necessarily out of any sense of community enhancement or altruism, but rather for more of a PR purpose and the tax benefits.


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8778824].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8779990].message }}
  • I think it's great that companies are using charity for PR. The more products buy from companies that support charities, more money goes to charities AND companies would now feel obligated to do this as often as possible. You'd look like a complete jerk dropping a charity after a PR stint simply because you felt like being greedy again.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8780933].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author pewpewpewmonkeys
    You'd look like a complete jerk dropping a charity after a PR stint simply because you felt like being greedy again.
    Because a company that wants to be profitable is a horrible thing.

    Wait, wut?
    Some cause-oriented hackers recently hacked one of my websites. So I researched what they're about and then donated a large sum of money to the entity they hate the most.

    The next time they hack one of my websites I'm going to donate DOUBLE.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8787631].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Magicalidea
    Big charity does. You have to invest double even triple for charity instead of advertising campaign to get same result. Think carefully about this.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8788038].message }}

Trending Topics