Brand Spirit: How Cause Related Marketing Builds Brands

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9780471987765: Brand Spirit: How Cause Related Marketing Builds Brands

The only guide to understanding and making the most of one of the hottest trends in branding today

Nothing builds brand loyalty among today's increasingly skeptical, hard-to-please consumers like a proven commitment to a worthy cause on the part of a company. Known as Cause Related Marketing (CRM), this approach to branding has gained a great deal of momentum over the past decade, thanks, in no small part, to such recent, notable examples as McDonald's commitment to saving the rain forests and BMW's breast cancer fund-raising initiatives. Now, in the first book to explore the business benefits of CRM and its positive and negative impacts on business strategy, two experts explain the concept and fundamental principles of CRM and its place within the contemporary discourse on branding. And, with the help of numerous, fascinating, and instructive case studies, they demonstrate how marketers can harness the power of CRM to position and enhance customer loyalty to a brand, product, or service.

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Review:

Cause Related Marketing, or CRM, is an increasingly popular corporate practice that seeks to tie a company or brand to a charitable effort. Think promotions promising a percentage of sales to specific nonprofits, or advertising touting particular philanthropic programs in addition to products or services, and you get the idea. At its best, CRM aids charities (raising awareness as well as cash), businesses (associating them with authentic social benefits), and consumers (providing ways to acquire products or services while simultaneously making charitable contributions). At its worst, the process rings hollow and may actually serve to hurt the companies involved. Hamish Pringle, former vice chairman of marketing for Saatchi & Saatchi, and Marjorie Thompson, current director of the company's Cause Connection, believe any firm that's sincere can use CRM.

In Brand Spirit, they explain the way a number of such campaigns--including the American Express Charge Against Hunger, Avon's Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade, and Reebok's Human Rights Now! Tour--were developed to assist relevant programs as well as enhance corporate image. Pringle and Thompson show through these and other detailed case studies how mutually beneficial programs are devised and deployed, and what they can achieve. "Commercial enterprises will continue to see real benefits in helping ensure a harmonious balance between the stronger and weaker in society," they write, "and in structuring themselves to deliver the optimum blend of self-interested altruism to their communities." Their subsequent proposal is a solid blueprint for companies of all types and sizes that wish to demonstrate actively a genuine commitment to the concept of corporate social responsibility. --Howard Rothman.

From the Back Cover:

"Many people are coming to the conclusion that 'valufacture' in the future is increasingly going to come from synergies and alliances. The single product or service is going to become a commodity sold on price alone. Cause Related Marketing is all about such synergies and alliances. All three parties involved benefit and that is why CRM is very much of the moment and has so much potential." Edward De Bono, From the Foreword to Brand Spirit "American Express invented Cause-related Marketing in the early 1980s - service marked the term - and I said at the time to American Express executives that the idea was perhaps the greatest marketing innovation in 50 years. Surely it would be copied. Given the subsequent expansion of Cause-related Marketing into the four corners of the earth under the banners of thousands of diverse companies, in hindsight I underestimated the power of the idea. This book demonstrates why Cause-related Marketing is such a major and exciting force in the global marketing world." James D. Robinson III, Chairman and CEO RRE Investors, Former Chairman and CEO American Express Company "Pringle & Thompson have done a masterful job of showing how companies can benefit by moving beyond rational and emotional branding to 'spiritual' branding." Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University "It's often assumed that market forces and social responsibility are impossible bed-fellows. Brand Spirit challenges this view and shows with hard example how, through Cause Related Marketing, good business and good works can be mutually supportive." Jeremy Bullmore, WPP Group PLC, London "At Harvard and now at London Business School I've seen how important the understanding of brands and branding has become within a top MBA programme. Brand Spirit brings new thinking to this key area in a highly readable and insightful way." Professor John Quelch, Dean of London Business School "Brand Spirit is the first authoritative, comprehensive - and above all readable - book to spotlight this major new marketing challenge." Winston Fletcher, Bozell UK Group Ltd "I really liked this book and felt that I learned a lot from it. I am sure it will become a 'must-read' among marketing professionals ... it provides a solid business case on why companies should consider this approach to brand building and positioning and it provides effective guidelines on how to create such campaigns. So, for brand managers, marketing directors, fund raisers and agencies it is a terrific book and one I would unquestionably recommend." Professor Peter Doyle, Warwick Business School

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