- Mon, February 18 2008
- Filed under: Cause-related marketing
My beloved writer cousin Elisabeth just sent me this email yesterday, which I’m reprinting with her permission:
I just totally thought of you—I had a “marketing moment” looking through this catalog from “Fair Indigo.” Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t. It’s “fair trade clothes” which sort of look like Ann Taylor Loft with maybe a sprinkle of J. Jill. Lots of t-shirts and stuff, “made fairly in Buji, China,” etc.. But as I was going through, I started dog-earing pages and making these grand plans to overhaul my wardrobe, and I suddenly realized I was going to buy a ton of stuff not because I really like the clothes (they’re ok) but because I want to buy tons of new clothes while congratulating myself on improving the lives of women in Buji, China. Almost every page has a story about how great these factories are, and what a difference they’re making. I was getting so into it when I realized, what a great marketing angle and application of K. Andresen’s marketing principles! Even the cover line is “Fair Trade Fashion helps change the world,” and here I am in the kitchen with Alistair thinking, I’m a world-changer! Let’s get that sweater in latte, too!
I love this story because it shows that good stories - and especially stories about good - sell just about anything.
We buy so many things because of their storyline, and we are especially likely to spend when we aspire to be a character in that story. Imagine helping raise someone out of poverty on the other side of the world just by being fashionable - that’s being a heroine.
Remember this! Your storyline is essential. If you have a corporate partner, your cause-related marketing effort needs a compelling storyline. If you’re about to email an appeal - check if there is a story there. Is the reader going to feel a part of it? No? Then start rewriting now. You need a good protagonist, a high-stakes conflict or challenge, and a resolution with meaning. Even fashion catalogs have them.
You can check out Fair Indigo’s fine website here.