The festive season is the time of year when many brands’ thoughts turn to giving back, as is the case with the annual L’Occitane Christmas campaign. This is an example of cause-related marketing (CRM), a way for a brand to partner with a non-profit with similar values. CRM allows a brand to improve its sales while gaining public awareness of its values. Meanwhile, for the non-profit, having a trusted brand promote its cause can lead to increased exposure and a new donor base and source of funding.
CRM is not always a sure thing. It’s important to partner with a cause that can prove its impact. By partnering with an organisation that can guide you to implement the cause-related campaign sensitively, you can avoid your campaign being perceived as self-serving or insufficient.
Most consumers want to support brands that make a positive contribution to society. According to a recent study, 87% of consumers will purchase a product because a company supports an issue they care about. Furthermore, 76% of consumers will not purchase products from a company whose ethics conflict with their own.
In this two-part series, we look at how brands have partnered with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to promote a cause, and in turn, benefited from this partnership. Using these case studies, we’ll assess how CRM can result in sustainable impact when implemented with integrity.
Part 1: L’Occitane’s Magical Christmas tree-planting campaign
L’Occitane is a company that produces natural cosmetics and well-being products. They are also committed to sustainable sourcing and supporting communities. Annually, L’Occitane implements a campaign aligned with their values over the Christmas period. In 2018, they raised funds to prevent avoidable blindness in sub-Saharan Africa. As the first company to include braille on their packaging in 1996, this resonated with their values. This year, L’Occitane has partnered with FTFA’s Trees for All programme to run a campaign over the Christmas season.
How it works
Each donor can buy a leaf of a tree, worth R50, with three leaves making a tree at R150. The leaves are made out of seed paper for customers to take home (as a receipt) and plant. Ultimately, L’Occitane’s goal is to raise enough funds to plant 300 trees in 10 under-resourced schools nationwide.
Why it works
As the L’Occitane brand is closely aligned with sustainable development, this campaign was a natural fit. L’Occitane chose FTFA as their implementation partner, as we have a long history of working with communities for sustainable development. We then used rigorous assessments to carefully select schools to be part of this initiative, ensuring the survival rate of the trees for long-term impact. In addition, the schools will receive training and support to care for the trees.
To launch the campaign, L’Occitane donated 70 fruit and indigenous shade trees to Mandalay Primary School, an under-resourced school in Cape Town. L’Occitane employees joined the school’s educators and learners to plant 40 trees on the day.
CRM provided L’Occitane with the opportunity to amplify their marketing impact and contribute towards social development. Over and above their financial donation, they donated their time, energy and marketing reach to a cause they believed in. It’s a win-win – for the brand, and for the goals of FTFA. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll look at KLM’s campaign and its impact.
Donate a leaf or a tree to help L’Occitane reach their goal of planting 300 trees.