Humanitarian efforts foster customer loyalty, survey shows
By Alan Wolf, YSN
Nearly 40 years ago American Express inaugurated cause-related marketing by donating a penny from every charge card transaction to the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.
Besides raising some $1.7 million to spruce up Lady Liberty, the exercise resulted in a 27 percent increase in Amex card use.
Fast forward to 2022, and Ukraine’s valiant efforts to repel Russian forces are a current top-of-mind cause with consumers. And, according to a new corporate response study by Sparo, retailers that support the war-ravaged nation in a meaningful way are not only helping Ukrainians but are also enhancing their brand.
Sparo, which develops donation technology for merchants and their customers, obviously has skin in the game, but the survey results are nonetheless compelling. According to the poll, conduct last month across the U.S., more than half of all Americans (52%) would be more likely to engage with a company and consider buying their products if they were aware of tangible steps the business was taking to support Ukraine.
What’s more, another 47% of consumers say they are looking for ways to give back to nonprofits around the world, and 43 percent of respondents believe businesses share an equally weighted responsibility to aid to Ukraine during the crisis.
Sparo’s data was echoed by Google, which found that online searches for helping Ukraine grew more than 90 percent worldwide last month, while searches for ways to donate clothes to Ukrainian refugees increased by over 2,000 percent.
By weaving support for Ukraine into their corporate culture, Sparo said, retailers can help provide humanitarian assistance while attracting new customers and inspiring existing ones to keep coming back. “Retailers have an opportunity to simultaneously accelerate social impact during this critical time and drive customer loyalty,” the company noted. “Doing the right thing is not an option; it’s a business imperative.”
While Sparo provides online donation technology and vets non-profits, BrandSource member Stan’s BrandSource TV & Appliance in Beatrice, Neb., took matters into its own hands recently by holding a one-day Ashley sale and donating 100 percent of the proceeds to two Christian charities.
In this instance, generating good will toward men, rather than shoppers, was the altruistic objective of owners Stan and Judy Meyer. “God has blessed us immeasurably,” Judy said, “and we are called to share with those who are in need.”