Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Office Depot's Back to School Cause Marketing
According to David Hessekiel, President of Cause Marketing Forum, here are three lessons to be learned from Office Depot:
Lesson #1: Link Core Products
Last year's effort showcased limited-edition, specially branded products such as sticky notes and Sharpies. This year's campaign goes back to basics with over 10 items that are primarily back-to-school essentials such as notebooks and page dividers (each band member has their own branded line resulting in over 50 SKUs total). According to Skolfield, product sales are "much better" than last year's cause products and more importantly, customers are increasingly adding other items to their carts when purchasing One Direction-branded products.
Lesson #2: Go Where Your Customers Live
Engaging with a socially-prolific and well-followed celebrity entity turned out to be a smart move for Office Depot in 2012. Venturing back into the social media universe where students orbit around celebrities was a must-do for Office Depot again this year. "The social media component has been enormous," Skolfield shares. According to Mashable, One Direction's combined 75 million twitter followers helped an Office Depot-promoted tweet to generate more site referrals during the campaign than the amount of referrals Office Depot saw in the entirety of 2012. Additionally, Office Depot Facebook fans have grown more than 67,000 - a 19% increase.
Lesson #3: Celebrity is to Cause as Teen is to Mom
The cause+celebrity combo works well in a back-to-school market where teens and tweens are focused on cool products and mom's paying the bill. Controlling the narrative by focusing on an empowering, positive message reinforced by authentic celebrity spokespeople is a win-win for teens and parents and aligns well with the Office Depot's desired brand positioning.
For other examples of back-to-school cause marketing go to 2013 Cause Marketing Campaigns on Pinterest.
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