Not Just Pink Ribbons: Cause Affinity Platforms

Sep 4, 2012 6:20 PM ET
Photo Credit: Warby Parker

By Kate Olsen and Allison McGuire

What are cause affinity platforms? Since the adoption of the pink ribbon to broadcast status as an ally in the fight against breast cancer, cause-branded products have exploded.  Many brands are pushing this model beyond one-off products to create full cause affinity platforms. The product then becomes just one element of a larger partnership with charity. 

What are 3 common campaign elements?

  • Product is aligned to the cause brand and target consumer audience. 
  • Usage of cause-branded product becomes consumers’ ‘badge’ to express their identity through an association with the brand and its cause. 
  • Incorporation of social proof to foster product adoption by demonstrating the impact achieved by product sales. 

What are some examples of cause affinity platforms done right?

Levi’s ‘Water<LESS’:  Through its ‘Water<Less’ jeans collection, Levi’s pioneers sustainable manufacturing practices and translates the supply chain efficiency into a compelling cause platform with partner This campaign encourages people to adopt a ‘Water<Less’ lifestyle—allowing consumers to experience what life is like for the nearly one billion people worldwide without clean drinking water. 

Warby Parker ‘Buy a Pair, Give a Pair’:  Warby Parker partnered with nonprofits such as VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of eye glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.


Want are the tips for campaign success?
Download our FREE eGuide, Avoiding Cause Marketing Missteps: 5 Key Trends to read all 5 trends, get examples of successful initiatives, and take home tips to ensure your next cause marketing campaign is a success!