Monday, October 18, 2010

Do I need another pink awareness coffee cup?

I use a pink breast cancer awareness travel coffee cup daily. When I bought it years ago, it indicated that a portion of my purchase will benefit breast cancer awareness research. Supporting breast cancer research is important to me since two of my close friends are breast cancer survivors.

But that is not why I bought the coffee cup. I simply needed a coffee mug and this one advertised that it is leak-free (which is important to a self-admitted klutz who has spilled coffee numerous times on the way to work).

Hundreds of companies ramp up their pink ribbon products such as pink coffee cups during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month encouraging their customers to shop for the cause. Each advertised that a portion of my purchase will be donated to breast cancer research. This is commonly known as “cause-related marketing."

Common cause-related marketing activities include agreements by the company to donate a percentage of the purchase price for a product to charity, advertising and promotion of a common message, product licensing, endorsement, and product certification by a charity.

There is no question that these marketing campaigns have helped increased public awareness and raise millions of dollars. It has also provided nonprofits, corporations, consumers and employees with a sense of purpose that their decisions can make a difference.

I bought my coffee mug because of its leak-proof functionality. The fact that portion of my purchase will support breast cancer research was a nice bonus. Since it clearly disclosed how my purchase will support an organization I am familiar with and trust, I plunked down my cash and bought the coffee mug.

I saw a similar coffee mug at my favorite coffee shop this morning. But, I don’t need another coffee mug. Instead of buying another mug which I don’t need to support the cause, I am going to give to the charity directly instead.

How do you shop to support a cause? Do you support causes by buying products that support a cause or do you buy the product only if you need the item?

No comments: