Amex Statue of Liberty An early example of cause-related marketing: the AMEX campaign to restore the Statue of Liberty.

Cause-related marketing is not a fix, but a way to augment business. DaSilva defines cause-related marketing as “a powerful strategy companies use to bring their social and environmental concerns to consumers by integrating different dialogues about how they care and to support issues that consumers care about.” It can take many different forms, such as a tie-in with an existing product or a specifically designed product for which the company donates a percentage of sales or the entire amount to a nonprofit. Walks, marathons and sporting events are other examples. Cause-related marketing falls under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, writing a check to a nonprofit or establishing a grant is not cause-related marketing, but other examples of CSR. “It is the transaction that is critical to the engagement,” says Cone, who refers to these citizen customers as the driving force behind cause-related marketing.

“Clients can feel good about wearing my designs purchased through charity events, not just because they love them but, more importantly, they helped out that particular charity and have given back to society,” explains Alberto Parada, a jewelry designer based in Washington, D.C., who works with a number of charities, including the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation and Variety Club, a children’s charity in California.

Some partnerships evolve over time and may even have their origins in traditional partnership marketing. Breitling, the Swiss watch company known for the precision of its chronometer-certified movements, crafts watches that are used by pilots worldwide. In 1952, the company was approached by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to make a unique aviation watch. “While it was not for charity, this set the course for an ongoing special relationship with flight teams and the military,” explains Thierry Prissert, Breitling USA president. In 2011, Breitling created a 50-piece limited edition American Tribute watch to honor U.S. veterans across the country. All proceeds from the sale of the watches — totaling $160,000 — went to Fisher House Foundation, which constructs homes to provide free, temporary housing so that families can be near veterans undergoing medical care.

From Rapaport Magazine - Read the full article here

This is a really interesting development in the relationship and impact of supporting a charity. The idea was first created by AMEX when they created a promotion for the restoration of the statue of liberty. The results were tremendous and hence created CRM idea.

In my opinion I see it as a very pragmatic approach. The key is it must be relevant to what we do as an industry. This week the Diamond Manufacturers of America joined the group Violence against Women to undertake a walk in New York demonstrating their support. I see this sort of relationship as very appropriate. I would like to think that both on a local level with the DDCA and an international level with the WFDB we can choose the best fit of Charities or support groups to maximise the impact of our involvement with a charity or cause to the benefit of both.