With Breast Cancer Awareness month in full swing, I was interested to see a new survey from Cone Communications that shows just where consumers stand on the slew of pink-tinged marketing campaigns we see this time of year.
The Cone Communications Breast Cancer Trend Tracker measures consumer perceptions of breast cancer-related cause marketing during October – and reveals that going pink may require more transparency than ever.
While the poll finds nearly all Americans (92%) believe breast cancer is a critical cause for corporations to support, they’ve got their doubts about pink products:
• Just 26 percent feel companies have had a significant positive impact on the issue
• Only half of consumers (52%) believe their individual breast cancer-related purchases make a difference
• Three-quarters (77%) think some companies support the breast cancer cause solely for corporate gain
Cone says, “Consumers want companies to support the cause in substantive ways. Although just 6 percent are content with corporate dollars going toward disease awareness and education, consumers would prefer to see contributions applied toward research for a cure (46%), screenings and prevention (26%) and support for women and families affected by breast cancer (22%).”
Perhaps this – along with the Susan G. Komen controversy of the past year – is why Cone has found companies are diversifying their nonprofit partners: “No longer do one or two large nonprofits rule the breast cancer space in October. As the breast cancer cause undergoes increased scrutiny, brands are turning to distinct partners for a unique approach and impact. Nonprofits shining through include: Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Young Survival Coalition, among other niche organizations.” And some brands, like Avon and Novartis, are providing more than just dollars toward the cause – they are creating opportunities for people affected by breast cancer to connect to critical emotional support through online communities and social networking.
If you’re a breast cancer cause that has struggled to get corporate support, keep these trends in mind. Show what makes you unique, how companies can support the cause more deeply and insist they are transparent about your partnership. Pink looks best when it’s see-through for consumers. Make the partnership transparent, because people have never been so skeptical when it comes to this color.