The Brand of Giving

The concept of cause association with brands is not a new one. Companies in all categories are now selling products benefiting a cause, or even forming branded campaigns to create a movement that parallels the core values of their brand. In the beauty industry, Dove’s Self Esteem Fund was developed to teach young women about the dangers of beauty stereotypes. In the premium beverage industry, Ethos water has been available at Starbucks and other premium retail outlets in the US for many years now raising awareness of the World Water Crisis, with a portion of the sales going toward humanitarian water programs.

But what about a brand that is the cause?

As marketers, we know that when consumers make a purchase, they are identifying themselves with the product — and ultimately the brand. GIVE water takes this notion a step further by allowing their customers to identify themselves directly with a cause of their choice — orange for muscular disorders, pink for breast cancer research, green for the environment and blue to help children in need. GIVE donates ten cents per bottle to local charities, and their website even allows the user to type in their zip code to view local charities benefited by GIVE. And with simple naming such as “Give Life” and “Give Hope,” consumers can quickly identify their product of choice — and their friends can identify the cause they are supporting when they tote their water bottle.