Cause Consumerism


I’ve been doing research for Product Development, and on trends for charity donations and consumer buying behavior. Many of us animal lovers directly donate time and money towards the cause, but indirectly, many of us also want to know what companies are doing on their part. If I have a choice between brands when purchasing a product, knowing that profits may go towards an agreeable cause will certainly influence my purchase decision.

This quote sounded good, cuz hey, it has numbers:

47% of consumers have bought a brand at least monthly that supports a cause

If you’ve read my earlier Product Development posts, you’ll know that a target segment of mine is the Pet Industry. It makes sense. Supporting animal welfare fosters a positive brand image in the eyes of consumers. Garnering support through charity work, I’d argue, is as valuable as spending a huge budget on a large marketing campaign.

Encouraging more adoptions is also great for their bottom line; think about it. The more pets people have, the more money they can make.

I’ve seen this through personal experience; when we’re holding adoptions at PetSmart, the family will complete adoption paperwork, then spend the next hour excitedly buying goodies for their new pet. Not to mention, that family will very likely return to PetSmart to buy supplies for the duration of that pet’s life. I see many customers come back to pick up more food/litter, and stop by our cages to give us an update on how their adopted kitty is doing.

Some examples of cause marketing:

  •  The Planet Dog Foundation, run by Planet Dog, provides grants and funding programs that train, place, and support animals that help people in need either through physical assistance or therapy.
  • The Halo Pet Foundation, established by Halo, Purely for Pets and founder Ellen DeGeneres, wants to educate the public on what it means to be a responsible pet owner. The goal is to cut down on the number of pets that are abandoned to shelters, simply because the owners were unprepared for the demands of pet ownership. Halo, Purely for Pets donates ½% of its sales to the Foundation, which then supports various education-focused non-profits.

  • Petco and PetSmart both host adoption events in their physical stores, as well as have charitable organizations that offer spay/neuter grants.
  • Purina gives free or low cost rates in their food and litter to local animal shelters.
  • 1-800-Pet-Meds donates medications to shelters. They tweet about its Adoptable Pet Spotlight,  and features adoption stories.
  • Pet food marketer Darford lets its customers feed shelter animals directly from its website (virtually speaking!) After consumers purchase Darford packaged dog food or treats, they can visit the Darford website and click on the “Redeem & Donate” link to enter the Plus One code found on the back of the package.

  • Kong’s “Pets Need to Play” program allows you to virtually play with animals in the shelter.
  • The Bissell Pet Foundation helps animal welfare organizations through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care.
  • Amazon runs AmazonSmile, where a percentage of your purchases are given to a non-profit of your choice.
  • Subaru runs their “Share the Love” campaign where the company donates to your cause when you purchase one of their vehicles.

The semester is coming to an end, so I don’t have as much time to sit and write out some of the other blog ideas I have in mind. Until then, if you’re doing some holiday shopping and support a great cause, here are some ideas for Only Maine Coons Rescue:

Christmas Wreath Sale: 12/10/16)

Yankee Candles:
*** Please Use Group Number: 990055601 Name Only Maine Coons Rescue ***

Gourmet Pop Corn:

Source: How Cause Marketing Helps Pet Retailers Connect


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