In November 2022, Philadelphia-based jewelry brand Bario Neal debuted a “Bans Off Our Bodies” charm and pledged 100% of the profits to ARC Southeast, a nonprofit that provides funding and support for reproductive care and abortion services to people in the South.
“We’re a female-founded business, and supporting female organizations has always been really important to us,” Page Neal, principal and lead designer of Bario Neal, told Insider. “To us, the rollback of Roe v. Wade was such an oppressive action taken by the Supreme Court to take away women’s rights. It’s really important to us to support women in areas where rights have been taken away.”
By March 2023, she said the company had sold 70 of the charms and raised about $2,400 for ARC Southeast.
The “Bans Off Our Bodies” charm is just one way Bario Neal engages in cause marketing, which refers to for-profit businesses and nonprofits engaging in corporate activism.
Cause marketing can include sponsoring events, fundraising, or raising awareness for a social or charitable cause. Nicole Conway, principal of Conway Marketing Group, told Insider that this type of marketing works best when businesses support causes or charities that align with their values or make a difference in their local communities.
How cause marketing can benefit small businesses
Cause marketing can increase brand awareness for businesses and exposure for nonprofits, Conway said. It boosts a company’s credibility in communities and helps companies attract customers who “want to see that their purchasing power is well-spent and goes to something they care about,” Neal said.
More than 80% of consumers said they prefer spending with companies that have values that align with their own, and 75% will stop buying from brands over a conflict in values, according to a Harris Poll commissioned by Google Cloud.
When businesses support causes, it can also improve employee morale and help with hiring and retention, Conway said. “People want to work with real people who have hearts, brains, and consciences.”
To create a successful cause marketing campaign, small businesses can take these steps: