Bribing Consumer Loyalty

The Edelman PR firm recently conducted a survey to find out what keeps consumers loyal to a name brand in challenging economic times. They found that "the trick is to forge a 'double-value' for a product by developing a tie-in to a social cause." Cause-related marketing can be a powerful marketing technique. The environment, health, poverty and education were the top causes likely to inspire consumer loyalty. Companies offering what seems to be an added benefit to purchases are appealing to the emotions of the consumer. According to the survey, "only a quarter of consumers gain contentment while shopping. More than four-in-ten (42 percent) say helping others brings a sense of contentment." Unfortunately, it is often impossible for consumers to judge the actual impact that cause-related marketing creates since the amount donated or where it specifically goes is rarely disclosed.