Choose Your Own Cause-Marketing Ending

To build brand awareness and identity, the Close But No Cigar company is interested in creating several cause-based community events. Close But No Cigar (CBNC) brings in an expert to ask what cause it should support.  Based on the company’s response to several questions, the idea man returns with several areas that the company might be interested in based on its mission.

CBNC says, “Thank you. This is great. We’d like to create an event based on one of these causes.”

“Wonderful,” says the idea man. “Which cause did you most connect with?”

“You would know which cause is most popular since you’re the expert. We’d like to go with the cause that people care about the most.”

The idea man thinks:

a) Great, I can do some research and voila, I’ll know the cause;

b) I hear crowd-sourcing is popular; I’ll just crowdsource a cause;

c) This could be rough. I can’t make a company care about something and it’ll be pretty obvious if it’s throwing dollars whichever way the wind is blowing;

d) I’m approaching shaky ground. Should the fact that CBNC brought me in as an outside consultant have been a tip that it’s not truly invested in any issue? Or

e) What’s that Henry Ford quote…whether I think I can or think I can’t, I’m usually right…. Okay, so this could be an opportunity to change the way CBNC thinks about social responsibility and the role of cause in marketing.

Where does your mind go?  If it goes to ‘danger zone’ options C, D or E, why?  And can the idea man turn a company’s interest in cause (albeit for branding purposes) into something of value?  What’s his best approach?

My goal with this post was to talk about the importance of authenticity without beating you over the head with the over-used term. Did I succeed?

a) yes
b) no
c) what you really should be talking about is ___________________.

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