We’ve all seen them. Pinned to lapels in the work place, stuck on the bumpers of cars or ironed on to the backpacks of college students – the universal red ribbon. In its early years, the red ribbon symbolized the continuing fight against the growing AIDS epidemic. Now that idea — increasing awareness and support through a promotional product — has spread to include several other important causes across the nation. Why? Because when executed correctly, it works and it works well.
In an article called “Cause Branding and the 21st Century,” Carol Cone of Cone, Inc., writes, “cause programs have become a standard and widely accepted business practice with many of the world’s largest companies running comprehensive campaigns supported by substantial advertising and communications resources.” These communication resources include promotional products that have a long life and major visibility for both clients and target audiences bracelet pop it .
When connected to an important and pressing cause, like breast cancer and AIDS, promotional products bolster overall support and awareness while often helping to increase fundraising dollars at the same time. Take the yellow bracelet from the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s “Live Strong” campaign as an example. Once the yellow rubber bracelets popped up around the country, not only did a vast majority of the population own one, they represented a knowledge and support base for cancer research. Proceeds from sales of the bracelets go directly the foundation serving the dual purpose of raising awareness and funds.
Promotional products such as bracelets, bandannas and key chains all spread the word about the cause in a simple, easy and fun way. They produce lasting relationships amongst the target, cause and brand. Targets begin to associate the importance of the cause with the popularity of the appropriate promotional product. Sometimes even the mere color of the product has a lasting effect on the memory. The color pink, for example, especially in October, communicates breast cancer research and support. Reusability, durability and transferability of the product are also important considerations in choosing a promotional product for your cause.
What’s more, an effective promotional product, like a lapel pin or lanyard, makes each customer who own the product a walking billboard for the cause and brand. This communicates the brand’s message in an alternative way. It shows that the consumers care about and support the cause enough to display it proudly. This also makes the brand logoed on the product more approachable to others as the message is coming from family and friends. The Cone article says that a Cone/Roper Cause Related Trends Report done in 1999 revealed that “Americans solidly and consistently support cause-related activities and that companies see benefits to their brand’s reputation, image and bottom line.” Every brand should be involved in a cause campaign and promotional products should certainly be a dimension of every cause campaign.