With Breast Cancer Awareness month in full swing, I was interested to see a new survey from Cone Communications that shows just where consumers stand on the slew of pink-tinged marketing campaigns we see this time of year.
According to the Cone Communications Breast Cancer Trend Tracker, the “pink” halo effect still prompts consumer purchase and brand affinity. While the poll finds nearly all Americans (92%) believe breast cancer is a critical cause for corporations to support, they’ve got their doubts about pink products:
• Just 26 percent feel companies have had a significant positive impact on the issue
• Only half of consumers (52%) believe their individual breast cancer-related purchases make a difference
• Three-quarters (77%) think some companies support the breast cancer cause solely for corporate gain
Cone says, “Consumers want companies to support the cause in substantive ways. Although just 6 percent are content with corporate dollars going toward disease awareness and education, consumers would prefer to see contributions applied toward research for a cure (46%), screenings and prevention (26%) and support for women and families affected by breast cancer (22%).”
Perhaps this - along with the Susan G. Komen controversy of the past year - is why Cone has found companies are diversifying their nonprofit partners: “No longer do one or two large nonprofits rule the breast cancer space in October. As the breast cancer cause undergoes increased scrutiny, brands are turning to distinct partners for a unique approach and impact.” Some brands, like Avon and Novartis, are providing more than just dollars toward the cause – they are creating opportunities for people affected by breast cancer to connect to critical emotional support through online communities and social networking.
What’s the bottom line? Cause marketers paid heed: help consumers see beyond the pink to the substance of what you are doing for the cause. Make clear which nonprofits you support, how and how much. Put the faces of breast cancer - not your brand - at the center. And detail your impact so people know that pink halo is more than just a stunt.