Cause Marketing Garners Prime Real Estate at Retail

Recently MSLK was asked to do some retail analysis for an apparel brand looking to grow their business. The assignment, create a line extension for the brand that would capture more fashionable, impulse purchases made by consumers — primarily women. As we reviewed the product offerings in each store, we focused on the merchandise at check out counters, cash wraps, and end-caps, primarily on the first floor.  These locations tend to receive the most traffic and often lead to impulse purchases. Besides the anticipated insights that fun, travel sized, and conveniently priced items often occupy this prime impulse real estate, I was struck by the immense presence cause marketing, primarily for Breast Cancer Awareness, was receiving.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and it seems everyone has jumped on the band wagon. Today’s budget conscious woman is thinking twice before making any impulse purchase and the added emotional benefit of supporting a good cause is just the incentive she needs to push a mere want into an “okay why not!”

Even more exciting, brands have elevated the designs of their Breast Cancer promotions, creating attractive products that women actually desire! It helps that hot pink is  a very popular trend color right now. During my retail visits I saw entire displays awash in vibrant shades of pink. Candles, watches, fragrance, golf gloves, lotions, lipsticks, tennis balls, sunglasses, sports bras, sparkly shoes, and socks. It seems everything is more fun in pink!

Retailers from Bloomingdales to Target are recognizing the benefits of supporting cause marketing and the benefits of supporting brands offering timely promotions. Bloomingdales published an entire catalog dedicated to their “Pink” campaign which recognized all the pink/Breast Cancer promotions they had in store for the month of October. In addition, as we saw first hand, retailers are allocating prime floor space to brands which offer an attractive promotion.

Giving back and cause marketing has long since been a wonderful way for brands to elevate the emotional connection they make with consumers. What we are seeing now is that it is also a great way to catapult from the every day aisles and inner racks out into the limelight. This is especially exciting for smaller brands and brands with typically less trendy offerings, such as sports bras, to get in on the impulse purchase action.